The growth of big cities is generally considered a trend with various positive impacts. The problem is that in Europe (like in most of the developed world) growth is usually associated with suburbanization and urban sprawl. Along with some positive aspects, sprawl is generally considered a negative trend which causes high rates of soil sealing, loss of natural and rural land, loss of greenery and biodiversity, and contamination of air, soil, and water.
WHY DO WE HAVE THIS CHALLENGE?
Migration and urban sprawl have been around for a long time. As suburbs developed and roads and highways sprouted, business and industries followed the population migration from urban to suburban areas. As further growth occurred, newer suburbs expanding into previously rural areas encircled older suburbs. This outward expansion of urban growth continues to the present around most of the metropolitan areas. Several decades of unchecked urban sprawl have resulted in a host of environmental, economic, and social problems. Although sprawl is not a new problem, addressing, assessing, and monitoring it is even more important nowadays as a mean of meeting our commitments on climate change problems. In this context, it is essential to be aware of urban sprawl rates and the threats they may present to sustainable and resilient urban development, and to this end, cities need to monitor the existing urban trends, paying special attention to those taking place in the outskirts.