Environment: The Costs of Sprawl

In an era of environmental concern, it is common knowledge that the use of land makes sense. But does pay? In many ways, yes, says a 278-page federal report released week. The study, first of its kind, compares the costs to society of three kinds of land use: 1) allowing communities to sprawl haphazardly across landscape, 2) erecting planned density housing clusters, and 3) mixtures of both. In all cases, the economic environmental costs are lowest for high-density developments.

Entitled The Costs of Sprawl, the report measures the costs of putting 10,000 dwelling units...

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