urban sprawl


Definition of 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 story of Virginia’s Seventh District is in large part a story of Richmond’s urban sprawl. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Abigail Spanberger elected to US House of Representatives: a Democrat just ousted a Tea Party star," 7 Nov. 2018 This study, conducted by Shima Hamidi, the director of the Institute of Urban Studies at the University of Texas at Arlington, identifies a potential new factor: the effect of urban sprawl on residents’ health. Heidi Mitchell, WSJ, "The Link Between Urban Sprawl and Life Expectancy," 16 Sep. 2018 The discovery of the sarcophagus on a construction site last month was a rare find in Alexandria, a fabled port city where most traces of Egypt’s ancient civilizations have crumbled into the waves or lie buried beneath urban sprawl. Declan Walsh, New York Times, "Sarcophagus Found. Contents Unknown. (‘No Guessing, Please.’)," 13 July 2018 The Melbourne projects aim to help find solutions to the city's expanding urban sprawl, worsening traffic congestion, and growing social isolation – all of which can contribute to problems like alcoholism and domestic violence. Michael Taylor, The Christian Science Monitor, "Won't you be my neighbor: Melbourne experiments with community-led housing," 11 July 2018 Years of nearby urban sprawl have compromised the ability of some of these species to thrive, generating concern among environmentalists. Michigan Wildlife Council, Detroit Free Press, "Polishing a gem: Plan aims for St. Clair-Detroit River system improvements," 10 July 2018 As more estates have been built on greenfield sites outside the center, the rise in urban sprawl has brought problems. Michael Taylor, The Christian Science Monitor, "Won't you be my neighbor: Melbourne experiments with community-led housing," 11 July 2018 Today, urban sprawl has covered almost the entire former lakebed, and most of the city's water is pumped from beneath it. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "Can this environmental engineer—now elected mayor—fix Mexico City?," 2 July 2018 The city has passed development rules that were intended to reduce the impact of urban sprawl. John Tedesco, San Antonio Express-News, "City says developer who clear cut trees was following rules," 29 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'urban sprawl.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of urban sprawl

1934, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for urban sprawl

Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for urban sprawl

The first known use of urban sprawl was in 1934

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More Definitions for urban sprawl

urban sprawl


English Language Learners Definition of urban sprawl

: a situation in which large stores, groups of houses, etc., are built in an area around a city that formerly had few people living in it

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playful or foolish behavior

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