Bigger sprawls entail many problems. The most obvious one is that of transportation. By definition, the sprawl is less densely populated than the central districts. The lack of density makes it hard to justify the extension of public transportation so far from the center. Hence, most people will choose to ride to their job in their car. The result is an increase in the commuting time and widespread traffic congestion.
Beyond the obvious environmental impact and wasteful time consumption, long commutes have essential repercussions for talent retention.
“Urban and metropolitan labor markets thrive when all workers have access to all jobs because that ensures that firms can hire the best workers and workers can find the best jobs. Labor markets are integrated when all locations are connected by inter-city arterial roads that allow workers to reach their workplaces all over the urban area rapidly and efficiently. The presence of an arterial road, preferably one that carries public transport, within walking distance of a residence greatly facilitates access to jobs throughout the urban area.”
These commuting problems are changing the physiognomy of many cities too. The traditional city model entails a Central Business District (CBD) and people commuting to and from it. This structure is known as the Monocentric City model, and it’s been a reality for most cities until now.
However, as we accelerate the rise of megacities, the city model is beginning to shift. The Central Business District is losing its job attractor capacity, and new business areas are popping around the city. This loosening of the CBD gives rise to the Constrained Dispersal City model.