May 8, 2004

National Sprawl Index

"Much as Justice Potter Stewart said of pornography, most people would be hard pressed to define urban sprawl, but they know it when they see it," starts a report from Smart Growth America.

Nevertheless, the organization set out to rank 83 U.S. metropolitan areas -- representing about half of the country's population -- based on residential density, mixed or single use, active town centers and street network accessibility.

The losers: (i.e. greatest sprawl)

(worst)1. Riverside-San Bernardino, CA PMSA
2. Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point, NC MSA
3. Raleigh-Durham, NC MSA
4. Atlanta, GA MSA
5. Greenville-Spartanburg, SC MSA
6. West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Delray Beach, FL MSA
7. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk-Danbury, CT NECMA
8. Knoxville, TN MSA
9. Oxnard-Ventura, CA PMSA
10. Fort Worth-Arlington, TX PMSA

New York City had the least sprawl, followed by Jersey City, Providence, San Francisco, Honolulu round, Omaha, Boston, Portland (OR), Miami and New Orleans.

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