Urban Sprawl: Environmental Consequence of Rapid Urban Expansion

  • Ibimilua Adewale Festus Department of Geography and Planning Science, Faculty of the Social Sciences, Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria
  • Ibimilua Foyeke Omoboye Department of Geography, School of Arts and Social Sciences, College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria
  • Ogundare Babatope Andrew Department of Geography, School of Arts and Social Sciences, College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria
Keywords: development, environment, encroachment, sprawl, sustainability, urbanization


Urban Sprawl is a disturbing issue to geographers, urban planners and allied professionals in the 21st century.  The anxiety is based mainly on the social, political, economic, cultural and environmental consequences of rapid urban growth.  Hence, this study examines the reasons for urbanization, as well as encroachment of urban development into the border belt.  Next, the study probes into the causes, consequences and adverse effects of uncontrolled infringement and conversion of rural land to urban uses.  Likewise, the study investigates the processes of land use development, population expansion and physical growth, as well as their ecological foot prints.  Consequently, the study identified the major causes of urban sprawl as rapid population increase, high level of urban development pressure, provision of housing, changes in living standard, as well as technological changes among others.  Also, the study found out that urban sprawl is desirable because of the benefits of spread of development, low rent at the periphery, as well as lesser pressure on the environment of the border belt.  Also, the effects of urban sprawl were recognized as destruction of the means of livelihood of the rural dwellers at the urban fringe belt, land fragmentation, food scarcity, changes in the ecosystem, environmental pollution, biodiversity loss, as well as loss of wildlife habitat.  For the achievement of sustainable urban development in the 21st century and beyond, the study recommends environmental monitoring with the aid of geographic information systems and remote sensing techniques, environmental impact assessment, development control, farm land policy, regulation of land allocation, sustainable land use management, as well as enforcement of planning policies.

Abstract views: 241 , PDF downloads: 298


Download data is not yet available.


Aderamo, A. J. (2000).  City Planning and Management Techniques.  In H. I.Jimoh& I. P. Ifabiyi (eds.).  Contemporary Issues in Environmental Studies.  Ilorin, Hatee Press & Publishing Co. Ltd.

Bhatta, B. (2010).  Analysis of Urban Growth and Sprawl from Remote Sensing Data.  Canada, Springer.

Blair, T. L. (1974).  The International Urban Crisis.New York, Hill and Wang.

Botkin, D. B. & Keller, E. A. (2012).  Environmental Science (8th edition), New Jersey, John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Brueckner, J. K. (2000).  Urban Sprawl:  Diagnosis and Remedies.  International Regional Science Review, 23 (1) 160-171.

Cheam, C. L. &Ong, S. C. (2018).Making Difference to the Environment:  Understanding Undergraduates’ Environmental Behaviour, Malaysian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities.  3 (1) 1-13.

Downs, A. (1999).  Some Realities About Urban Sprawl and Urban Decline.  Housing Policy Debate.  10 (4) 955-973.

Elliot, J. M. (1998) Urban Society.  Connecticut, USA.  Dushkin Publishing Group Inc.

Elmes, A. & Mitchell, C. J. A. (2020) Counterurbanites and Commercial Landscape Change in the Canadian Countryside:  Insights from Paris, Ontario.  The Journal of Rural and Community Development.  15 (1) 49-70.

Frica, E. A. K. (2019).  Social Welfare of Urban Communities in Residential Areas.Malaysian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities.  4 (6)  181-196,

Garg, S. K. (2010).  Ecology and Environmental Studies.New Delhi, Khanna Publishers.

Garg, S. K. &Garg.R. (2008).Environmental Studies and Technology.New Delhi, Khanna Publishers.

George, C. K. (2002).  Basic Principles and Methods of Urban and Regional Planning.Lagos, Libro-Gem Books.

Gordon, P. & Richardson, H. (2000).Critiquing Sprawl’s Critics.Policy Analysis.365, 1-18

Habibi, S. &Asadi, N. (2011).Causes, Results and Methods of Controlling Urban Sprawl.Procedia Engineering.  21 (1) 133-141.

Habitat (1999).The Habitat Agenda.Nairobi, Kenya, Habitat.

Hick, U. K. (1974).  The Large City:  A World Problem.  London, Macmillan.

Hu, M.; Yuan, J.; Zhou, Z. &Fucal, L. (2017).  Relationships Between Urbanization, Economic Growth, Industrial Structure and Nitrogen Emissions in the Jishui River Basin Based on a VAR Model. Saudi Journal of Humanitie and Social Sciences. 2 (2) 144-151.

Ibimilua, F. O. &Ibimilua, A. F. (2020).  Urban Slums:  Environmental Sustainability at a Cross Road.Saudi Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences. 5 (3) 172-176.

Jay, M. (2001).Cities at Risk Habitat Debate.  7 (4) 1-4.

Kiran, M. (2010).Bringing Hope to the Slum.Footsteps.  83 (1) 14-15.

McNeely, J. A.; Redford, K. H. & Carter, A. S. (2005).  A Taxonomy of Support:  How and Why New Constituencies are Supporting Protected Areas.  In J. A. McNeely (ed.).  Friends of Life.New Partners in Support of Protected Areas.Gland, Zwitzerland and Cambridge, IUCN.

Mohamed, A. I. & DOGG, M. M. (2016).Smart Cities and Sustainability.A Set of Vertical Solutions for Managing Resources.International Journal of Environment and Sustainability. 5 (3) 1-15

Onokerhoraye, A. G. (1995).  Urbanization and Environment in Nigeria: Implications for Sustainable Development.  Benin City.  The Benin Social Science Series for Africa.University of Benin.

Oyesiku, K. (2010).  New Cities in Urban and Regional Development Planning.  Lagos, Longman.

Paul, G. (2000).  Mastering Geography.  London, Macmillan.

Pendall, R. (1999).  Do Land Use Control Cause Urban Sprawl?  Environment and Planning.  26 (1) 555-571.

Rana, S.V.S. (2013).  Essentials of Ecology and Environmental Science.  New Delhi, PHI Learning Private Limited.

Rebele, F. (1994).Urban Ecology and Special Features of Urban Ecosystems.Global Ecology and Biogeography Letters.  4 (6) 173-187.

Rubenstein, J. M. (2012).  Contemporary Human Geography.Nw Delhi, PHI Learning Private Limited.

Sada, P. O. (1973).  Urbanization Trend and Problems of Urban Administration in Nigeria.  In A. Adebayo & L. Rowland (eds.).  Management Problems of Rapid Urbanization in Nigeria.Ile-Ife, University of Ile-Ife press.

Sanni, L. K.; Adewoyin, Y.; Bako, A. I. S. &Akande, O. S. (2018).Urban Crime Prevention and Adaptation Measures in Ilorin, Nigeria.Tanzania Journal of Development Studies.  16 (2) 32-48.

Sudhira, H. S., Ramachandra, T. V. &Jagadish, K. S. (2004).  Urban Sprawl:  Metrics, Dynamics and Modelling Using GIS. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation.  9 (1) 29-39.

Struss, A. (1961).  Image of American Cities.  New York, Free Press.

United Nation (UN) (2001).The State of the World’s Cities.Istambul, Habitat Publication Unit.

Williams, J. F.; Brunn, D. S..; & Darden, J. T. (1983).World Urban Development.  In S. D. Brunn& J. F. Williams (eds) Cities of the World-World Regional Urban Development.  New York, Harper and Row.Pp. 3-42

Wright, R. &Boorse, D. F. (2015).  Environmental Science:  Towards a Sustainable Future.  India, Pearson.
How to Cite
Festus, I., Omoboye, I. F. and Andrew, O. B. (2020) “Urban Sprawl: Environmental Consequence of Rapid Urban Expansion”, Malaysian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities (MJSSH), 5(6), pp. 110 - 118. doi: https://doi.org/10.47405/mjssh.v5i6.411.