There are a variety of reasons urban sprawl is bad for the planet. As suburbs spread out from city centers they gobble up rural and natural areas, and for many years environmentalists have been concerned about the effect this has on natural ecosystems and wildlife habitat. More recently however, it has become clear that an even bigger problem with sprawl is its contribution to global warming. Where houses are spread out and many homes are far removed from stores and other services, people have to drive more. As a result, people who live in the suburbs tend to have a much higher carbon footprint per person than those living in more urban areas. Many individuals move to the suburbs to escape the city and “get back to nature” – but it turns out that by getting closer to nature, you can actually have a larger negative impact on it.
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