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Lake Michigan

The area that is Chicagoland has never been able to look like a circle, thanks to Lake Michigan to the northeast, but it has sprawled out in every other direction. It began to grow north, along the lake, and this is where the upper class moved, away from the bustling city but still near the beauty of the lake shore. Small cities and villages such as Evanston and Winnetka are good examples of the sector model. The middle class followed, but were more inland, to the west of the affluent areas.

As for the southern part of Chicago, this is where the lower class headed, because it was closer to the railroads and industrial areas, thus making it an easier commute for those who could not afford vehicles. Because the Chicagoland area has grown so much, there are some examples of the multiple nuclei model, in that new cities have developed within Chicagoland, such as Aurora and Naperville. Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport actually lies outside of Chicago, in DuPage County.

Because of the jobs available in this area, a great deal of congestion has grown around it, including strip malls, office parks and housing developments. 1. I see all the listed traits of urban sprawl in my area but the one I notice the most is the first trait listed, unlimited outward expansion. The metropolitan area of Chicago, known as Chicagoland, is huge, spreading out of Illinois into two other states, Indiana and Wisconsin. It spreads as far west as DeKalb County, which is practically in the middle of state!

McHenry and Boone Counties were mostly areas of agriculture but have now become victim of suburbanization, thanks to the cars and highways that make the commute into downtown Chicago easier. The edges of Chicagoland almost border with other cities, like Rockford, which is another example of urban sprawl spreading into former farmland, but on a smaller scale. 2. Urban sprawl comes with population growth. Originally, cities were built for walking and horses.

With the introduction of inner city railroads, automobiles and the interstate highway system, cities began to spread out, because they became more accessible. While this has allowed for people to spread out and created more jobs, I do think urban sprawl is a problem. It requires people to rely solely on their cars, which causes environmental and social issues. Everyone knows that taking public transportation is better for the environment, not only because it reduces pollution, but because it gets another car off the busy roads.

You are removed from the isolation that is your car and must interact with your fellow citizens. But one of the problems with urban sprawl and public transportation is that it is not always convenient. Buses and trains may not reach the furthest corners of the suburbs or if they do, they only come once an hour, making it harder to plan your trip. Nowadays people cannot wait for anything and if they have a car, they will drive it instead of waiting. This also leads to less exercise, increased obesity and more traffic accidents.

I do not see the benefit on urban sprawl despite the cheaper homes. If anything, these cheaper homes are not a sign of progress but proof that from urban sprawl comes economic barriers and leads to an inclusive way of living. Within cities, all economic levels live together, perhaps in different neighborhoods, but the possibility for interaction is always there. Once in the sprawl, these interactions become less frequent, leading some to create unfair assumptions on certain living areas, which can lead to fear and even more unnecessary isolation. This is not beneficial to anyone.

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