Monday, April 21, 2014

Utah's rate of sprawlification is increasing

This isn't huge news, but I did want to note it and file it away for future reference. A group called NumbersUSA just put out a report called Vanishing Open Spaces (thoughtful DesNews article here) which states that Utah is the number two state in the nation in terms of percentage increase in sprawl from 2002-2010.

Now, Utah isn't number two in terms of the total amount of area taken over by sprawl from 2002-2010, but by our percentage increase of sprawl. Do note, however, that we went from 7th (from 1982-2010) all the way up to 2nd (in the most recent period), so we are getting better (worse?) at using our land less efficiently.

In terms of the increased area taken over by sprawl over the 2002-2010 period (Table 11), Texas is number one and Utah's ranked 25 (up from 33 from 1982-2010!). For housekeeping's sake, I'll note that from 1982-2010 we added 646 square miles of sprawl in Utah, with 203 of those coming from 2002-2010. Despite the revitalization/urbanization efforts underway in SLC, by and large the last decade has seen an increasing rate of sprawl in Utah overall.

Note: I'm not sure why group based around immigrant policy, such as NumbersUSA, put out a report on sprawl, but the data and analysis seem to be aboveboard.

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