4. A Comparison of Urban Sprawl Discussions

The discussion of urban sprawl is decidedly different in Germany from the USA. The public in general has not recognized the implications of wide-spread settlement yet, and so discussions are held almost exclusively on a professional level. These discussions are characteristically flat and factual, strongly dissenting points of view are not represented. In the U.S. the discussion is by far more controversial and broader due to the fact that the population is directly confronted with the effects of a more wide-spread urban sprawl and thus sensitive to the topic. Diverging points of view are propagated specifically by special interest groups.

The basis of effective communication and successfully spreading information to a broad segment of the population is, apart from purely textual information, above all visual communication. An educated public as the prerequisite of participation in the planning process demands possibilities with which to visualize future development and planning.

The traditional media of information and visualization of planning are printed matter, maps, slide projections, perspective and axonometric drawing as well as model studies, endoscopic imagery and photo-montage. [Lehmkühler 1999] Since the increasing spread of the computer beyond the workplace, this medium is more and more effectively utilizable due to its manifold possibilities to transcend traditional patterns.

The development of new methods of information and visualization is a dynamic sector, the ability to convince grows in importance in lieu of global competition. Information and visualization can be presented in many ways with the aid of programs for CAD, GIS, Photo-manipulation, Simulation and Animation. The World Wide Web (www) is a medium predestined for making information in digital form accessible to a large number of people. However, it is important not to forget that large parts of the population do not (as yet) have access to the internet.


[Index || City || Urban Sprawl || Models || Conclusion || References || Authors]

Leipzig (Germany) 1999
Portland (USA) 1999
Stuttgart (Germany) 1999
Los Angeles (USA) 1999