For at least the second time this year, a national study has crowned Atlanta the king of American sprawl. (Is there a Lombardi-style trophy for dominance like this?) Using 2010 Census data, the new report by the University of Utah examined the largest 162 urbanized areas in the United States and measured them on a "Sprawl Index" — with Atlanta coming out on top, as in the year 2000. (Is it a coincidence that nine of the top 10 sprawling cities are in the South?) According to the study, major contributing factors include the sheer size of communities and a lack of urban planning, an area in which Atlanta famously excels.
On the flip side, cities topping the "most compact" metro areas include San Francisco, Madison, WI, Eugene, OR, and (what?) Los Angeles (double what?). The new study's findings echo those of Smart Growth America, who gave Atlanta a similarly dubious pole position in April. Nashville and Charlotte also landed in the top five of that analysis, which concluded that inhabitants of sprawled-out cities are all going to die!!! Sooner. On average.
· Study: Atlanta at top of list for most urban sprawl [11 Alive]
· Ouch. Study Calls ATL America's 'Most Sprawling' City [Curbed]
[ABOVE: Photo: Landscape+Urbanism.com]