urban sprawl


: the spreading of urban developments (such as houses and shopping centers) on undeveloped land near a city

Examples of urban sprawl in a Sentence

efforts to stop urban sprawl
Recent Examples on the Web The report said the bats also are imperiled by forest fragmentation — logging and urban sprawl in Canada, wildfire suppression in the U.S. and livestock ranching in Mexico. John Flesher, Fortune, 17 Apr. 2023 Past the urban sprawl of northern Naseriyah, with its small auto repair shops and vegetable stands, the land empties out. Alissa J. Rubin, BostonGlobe.com, 30 July 2023 Biologists are studying how the big cats live in habitat fragmented by urban sprawl, barriers that limit genetic diversity and with hazards ranging from poisons to roads and freeways. CBS News, 1 Feb. 2023 Amble through the grounds, or sit quietly by the fountain at this unexpected retreat in the center of L.A.’s urban sprawl. Sunset Staff, Sunset Magazine, 23 Nov. 2022 The ordinance’s backers argue that more units will help reduce Anchorage’s population drain, improve the economy, and create denser, walkable areas with less urban sprawl. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, 10 June 2023 Planning for smart development and a robust transportation system will mitigate negative effects such as urban sprawl and greenhouse gas emissions. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 June 2023 The problem of urban sprawl is complex and will likely require a multi-pronged solution that encompasses not only diversifying housing but also boosting public transportation and rethinking zoning. Kimberley Mok, Treehugger, 3 Apr. 2023 For thousands of people and households in the county, keeping and riding horses is a deeply rooted way of life, despite the urban sprawl surrounding them. Ryan Fonseca, Los Angeles Times, 27 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'urban sprawl.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1934, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of urban sprawl was in 1934

Dictionary Entries Near urban sprawl

Cite this Entry

“Urban sprawl.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/urban%20sprawl. Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition

urban sprawl

: the spreading of urban structures into areas surrounding a city

More from Merriam-Webster on urban sprawl

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