The Urban Growth Syndrome

by William H. Wisely, (F.ASCE), Executive Dir. Emeritus; ASCE, 345 East 45th St., New York, NY,

Serial Information: Engineering Issues: Journal of Professional Activities, 1972, Vol. 98, Issue 3, Pg. 323-329

Document Type: Journal Paper


This paper continues studies of the Southwest Pennsylvania Planning Commission. On the basis of examples on regional and national population concentration, it is evident that urban growth can and does become malignant, when permitted to continue without limit. Two conclusions are apparent: (1) Irresponsible expansion of facilities and services beyond a certain land-use saturation limit actually abets and sustains urban growth; and (2) the corollary that intelligent environmental design is possible only when it is prefaced by the determination of the ultimate land-use saturation limits. Traffic congestion is the most significant source of urban air pollution today: It is another unfortunate manifestation of the urban growth syndrome. Population management and transportation management go hand-in-hand as basic elements in urban design.

Subject Headings: Urban development | Population projection | Land use | Traffic congestion | Air pollution | Facility expansion | Smart buildings | Environmental issues

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