The Impact of Urban Sprawl - USF Sarasota

The Impact of Urban Sprawl
The Impact of Urban Sprawl:
An Interdisciplinary Focus on Florida’s Vanishing Ecosystems
Caitlin Bowman
University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee
The Impact of Urban Sprawl
The face of Florida is changing at a rapid rate and as the population increases so does the
imminent threat to the state’s natural ecosystems. Urban sprawl has become a problem at the
forefront of Florida’s concerns, and for a good reason. Development has inhibited the proper
sustainability and balance within the ecosystem, and without necessary implementation in
current land-use policies, this devastation will continue to deplete the state’s natural resources
and native species. Where will the history of Florida be in another fifty years? Will sprawl
continue to ravage the natural coastline and contribute to the decline of native species and
depletion of natural resources, or can an anthropological solution is the answer?
Although urban sprawl has contributed to the state’s economic expansion, it has done so,
in most cases, without regard to the environment. While walking through a beautiful, gated
neighborhood near to De Soto National Park in Bradenton, it is difficult not to take notice of the
shell heaps covering the entire area, evidence that Native American tribes once inhabited the
land. Should more care be taken in the developing of these lands, so that Florida’s natural history
and ecosystems can be preserved? Through the integration of historical and anthropological
research, archaeological fieldwork and a reassessment of current land-use policies, the issue of
urban sprawl can be addressed more accurately and with better results.
The Impact of Urban Sprawl
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of July 2009, Florida’s population reached an
astonishing 18,537,969 (Mormino, 2005). This explosion is a result of what is referred to as “The
Big Bang” (Mormino, 2005). Between the years of 1950 to 2005, Florida’s population jumped
from 2.7 million to 15.9 million, and as the population grew, it became necessary to increase
development (Mormino, 2005). While entrepreneurs purchased acres of farmland and miles of
Florida coastline, the state began its mass development of suburban neighborhoods. Urban
sprawl began taking over like ruthless bittersweet; soon neighborhoods grew like vines, covering
and suffocating the natural habitats of native species while depleting the state’s natural resources.
While this population boom proves to boost Florida’s economy and increase appeal as a
tourist ‘empire,’ it did little for the environment. Developers failed to recognize the long-term
environmental devastation that they left in their wake of destruction. The developing regulation
laws were not as strict as they are today, and few realized what long term damage would result
from the destruction. Beneath the banks and foundations of Florida’s coastal dwellings and highrise condos, a natural history exists. These development projects, while a major boom to
Florida’s economic stability, continue to raise questions about the preservation laws.
Since the development associated with Florida’s “Big Bang,” the environmental
devastation has proved immense. While developers drained and filled estuaries and lakes for
future projects, gradually they were disrupting the natural balance of the environment. In a recent
study, “68 plant and animal species have been listed as endangered or threatened; the wadingbird populations have dropped by 90%-95%; the prevalence of coral diseases in the Florida Keys’
National Marine Sanctuary has increased dramatically since 1996, and over 1.5 million acres of
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land are infested with invasive exotic plants” (Cypress, 1999). These statistics prove that
Florida’s economic stability has come at the cost of its natural ecosystems and the eventual cost
of an inhabitable Florida.
What is being done to protect these ecosystems from further development, and can an
integration of anthropological perspective help to address these issues by increasing awareness
and education about preservation? Can the state implement new rules for developers and require
the big developing corporations to employ anthropologists and archaeologists to help aid in this
preservation and society to aid in the funding for future projects? Considering the synthesis of
cognates, anthropology and sociology, and an integration of historical, economical and political
research, this study considers several efforts that could be implemented in improving the
compact development process and preserving natural ecosystems.
By enforcing stronger preservation laws while accommodating the needed space for new
developments through smart growth and planned compact development, the problems associated
with urban sprawl can be addressed. Through this integration, the devastation to Florida’s
ecosystems can be repaired and preserved. By using an anthropological approach and employing
archaeological fieldwork and new technology, the proper methods could be employed to correct
actions that could be an asset to preserving ecosystems in the future. By turning to the practice of
ecotourism, the benefit to Florida’s economy in the future would come from a knowledge and an
appreciation for Florida’s past and its preserved environments.
The Impact of Urban Sprawl
Literature Review
While steps are now being taken to preserve natural ecosystems, the early 1900s
represented a society with different concerns. Built on top of a Calusa Native American shell
mound in 1917, a house once stood overlooking Pine Island Sound. In 1927, the house burned to
the ground, revealing an ancient past (Walker, 2002). The site, which is now known as The
Randell Mound, now stands bare, preserved for people to wonder over its mystery and intrigue
and learn about a culture that once inhabited Florida’s past (Walker, 2002). The Randall Mound
serves as a profound example of the different perspective’s that reflect Florida’s past and the
outlook it now maintains. The Randall Mound was once seen as a prime location for a house, its
height providing a superior view of Pine Island Sound. Today however, a discovery of a new
archaeological site is given recognition and preserved for the community to explore. Although
the progression has been slow, the importance of preservation is now an issue that is finally
getting the recognition it deserves. The preservation of the Randall Mound provides the
acknowledgement of a history that proves Florida is changing for the better.
Florida’s communities depend not only on natural ecosystems for education and history,
but for survival. Urban sprawl is a real threat to these ecosystems, and the importance of
preservation is immeasurable now. This should be a reflection of our society’s present set of
values and norms, not the values of our past. The start of Florida’s development began with the
belligerent actions of the military toward the native aboriginal population (Gibson, 1998). The
Armed Occupation Act, implemented in 1840, was a homestead act aimed at luring EuroAmerican families from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, to Florida’s newly
The Impact of Urban Sprawl
unpopulated lands (Gibson, 1998). The act was designed to prevent any reprisal from surviving
Native Americans who sought to reclaim their lands. Consequently, the of the destruction of
ecosystems and developments consistent with Florida’s present day society (Gibson, 1998).
Preservation of natural ecosystems was not a real concern until the Growth Management
Act, which was implemented in 1985 (Efraim, 2005). The Act’s delay in implementation meant
that careless development spread with little regard to the environment. Due to this disregard and
lack of appreciation for the archaeological record, there are still several developments, structures
and roadways that are built on top of these historical grounds (Efraim, 2005). To fully assess the
issues regarding urban sprawl, it is necessary to examine the evolution of Florida’s Growth
Management Act and the source of the developments that have occurred in policy amendments
affecting Florida’s natural ecosystems.
When Florida’s Growth Management Act was formulated, Florida was dependent on
agriculture, tourism, retirement and real estate, much like it is today. The lack of manufacturing
and industry meant that Florida was reliant on these aspects to secure its economic future
(Efraim, 2005). Developers built with little recognition of the effects attributed with this
development and showed no regard for the preservation of the environment and natural
ecosystems. Efraim examines policy theories of the present compact development theory, and the
methods these theories employ as a way to prevent urban and suburban developments from
spreading towards natural resources and agricultural lands (Efraim, 2005).
Sustaining the balance between economic development and environmental protection
continues to be at the forefront of Florida’s concerns (Efraim, 2005). The purpose of the study is
to evaluate and compare the implementation of three leading GMA policies: consistency,
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concurrency and compact development (Efraim, 2005). “Compact development aimed to control
the expansion of suburban sprawl over natural resources and agricultural lands and direct it
towards urban areas of mixed land uses and high densities” (Efraim, 2005) This would be
beneficial in the long run in that it keeps development in already developed areas, preventing
urban sprawl.
“To keep and attract more private industries,” Efraim notes, “the state should provide
their investors, managers and employees with economic incentives. To secure good
quality of life for all residents, the state should improve air, water, open space, roads,
traffic, public transit and schools. To steer the coming growth agenda, the state has to
support jobs and citizens in viable communities that work together to sustain their region”
(Efraim, 2005).
The 1996 amendment helped to address the issues of residential and commercial
developments. It addressed a series of development laws, which have taken precedence over
concern for environmental and ecological systems, as well as consideration for damage to
agriculture, wildlife, air and water. To address the issue, Florida communities were required to
assume “six principles of compact and sustainable development: limited urban sprawl, healthy
and clean environment, restoration of ecosystems, protection of wildlife and natural areas,
efficient use of land and other resources, and creation of quality communities and jobs” (Florida
Statues, chapter 163.2511–3245, 1999. (3244) (1) (3)).
Florida’s compact development policies implemented in the Growth Management Act of
1985 intent was to discourage the spread of development to natural ecosystems and agricultural
lands, however, the state had control of these lands and environmental issues were largely
The Impact of Urban Sprawl
ignored (Efraim, 2006). In the 1990s the GMA amended three new policies that sought to limit
urban sprawl’s encroachment on natural ecosystems by implementing harsher compact
development requirements (Efraim, 2006). To question the effectiveness of these enactments,
Efraim evaluated the three elements of policy design, causal theory, implementation tool and
intergovernmental implementation process (Efraim, 2006). The intent of this evaluation assessed
whether through a framework of all three policies, a comprehensive policy design could enable a
probable solution to urban sprawl (Efraim, 2006).
Efraim uses causal theory to assess the issues regarding Florida’s policy goals. Causal
theory is considered “normative” as it represents a certain belief, which is the root of the problem.
Relevant to the “cause of the problem,” as well as “required intervention,” causal theory is
determined by different interpretations that lead to a right theory of interpretation (Efraim, 2006).
These perspectives span from the three compact development policies implemented in 1990;
Transportation Currency, Sustainable Communities and Urban Infill and Redevelopment (Efraim
Each perspective offers a different theory and planning mode, but individually fail to
offer a solution. Efraim argues that the combination of all three modes, representative of
different theories, can combine to enable resolution to the issues pertaining to urban sprawl.
While each intervention mode is a viable answer, compact development policies “oversimplify
environmental problems,” and may contribute to more environmental issues in the future
(Audriac, Shermyen & Smith, 1990). A study examining the benefits of compact development
finds that compact growth with a high-density mixture of commercial and residential
development used 45% less land, cost 25% less for roads, 15% less for utilities, 5% less for
The Impact of Urban Sprawl
housing, and 2% less for other public expenditures than sprawling development (Burchell &
Listokin, 1996).
Despite these figures, the compact development policy has been criticized on many levels,
one of them being that urban policies favorable of compact development are galvanized by the
“powerful imagery of urban utopia’s,” and the presumption that urban sprawl is equal to a “better
quality of life” (Audriac, Shermyn & Smith, 1990). Studies contributing to this have shown that
urban utopias are not necessarily representative of people’s true predilections, on the contrary,
most people prefer green, low-density communities (Audriac, Shermyen & Smith, 1990).
Another issue with compact development argues that compact urban form and higher density
development could be more cost effective than low-density development (Audriac, Shermyen &
Smith, 1990).
Behind the misconceptions of urban utopias are the propagated ideals of political agendas
that influence the outcome of urban planning decisions (Resnik, 2010). A fair and effective
alternative to voting would be to encourage an open deliberative debate for concerned parties.
This would enable solutions to urban sprawl that would implement more effective strategies
aimed at solving the environmental issues created by high-density development (Resnik, 2010).
Smart growth is one proposed alternative to compact development as it promotes an “urban
development pattern characterized by high density populations, neighborhoods with preserved
green spaces, and mixed use development” (Resnik, 2010). Smart growth would contribute to an
increasingly healthier environment with less air pollution, and better preservation of existing
ecosystems (Resnik, 2010).
The Impact of Urban Sprawl
The problem facing future development over environmental protection may be a political
issue. Lubell’s examination of the structure of Florida’s local political institutions reveals that a
political influence exists which attributes to developmental and environmental interests in the
contextual relationship to urban growth (Lubell, 2009). Through empirical analysis, Lubell found
that there is an “institutional influence over political contracting” (Lubell, 2009). The increase in
mayoral power, which leads to higher socioeconomic status, in turn alters the balance of land-use
change, increasing the environmentally conscious perspective (Lubell, 2009). On the other hand,
high socioeconomic status, which is achieved through the issuance of more building permits,
ultimately defeats the environmental preservation cause as it depletes more ecosystems (Lubell,
2009). A proposal to this problem is to amalgamate development with environmental resources
by employing “green building” methods (Lubell, 2009). The regulations set by the Leadership in
Energy and Environmental Design’s (LEED) green building rating system however proves costly,
and there is no “sustainable evidence” that documents the long-term environmental benefits of
green building (Lubell, 2009).
Political market theory of institutional change outlines the political economy theories of
property rights in comparison with an evaluation of local government structure (Lubell, 2009).
The theoretical perception of an exemplary market is defined by the practices carried out by state
or local government officials. These practices are encouraged by the economic benefits
congruent with more development and increased tourism, to accommodate for supply and
demand (Lubell, 2009).
To address the issues of urban sprawl from a new perspective, archaeologists seek to
implement new technology and ideas. From an exploration in Pineland Center, Florida, using
The Impact of Urban Sprawl
shallow geophysical survey techniques, (Sampson, Hunter & Thompson, 2011), to a study
examining the benefits of implementing the controversial urban archaeology method,
archaeologists are discovering preventive methods aimed at preserving natural ecosystems and
historic lands (Staski, 2008). Newer technology is perhaps the key to addressing the issues of
urban sprawl, and a study conducted at the Pineland State Complex, one of Florida’s preserved
Native American sites once inhabited by the Calusa Indians, examined the benefits of shallow
geophysical survey, and ground penetrating radar (GPR) to help recreate the past, and reveal
buried archaeological features (Sampson, Hunter & Thompson, 2011).
Shallow geophysical survey is a technique that uses “electrical currents, radar, or
magnetic sensors” to map the subsurface features of an area without unnecessary destruction, and
to identify features that are of significance (Sampson, Hunter & Thompson, 2011). Reflecting
electromagnetic signals measure moisture in the ground, and this moisture affects the electrical
conductivity and resistivity, revealing archaeological features below the surface (Sampson,
Hunter &Thompson, 2011). Despite the cost of these methods, the overall benefit to the
environment by reducing the amount of time and energy spent on unnecessary excavating will
prove more cost effective in the long run (Sampson, Hunter & Thompson, 2011). By employing
archaeologists to assist in future developing projects, the integration of these new technologies
within the spectrum of urban sprawl could aid in reducing the unnecessary destruction of natural
While geophysical survey works at preventing new destruction to fragile ecosystems,
urban archaeology, and assists in recovering buried archaeological evidence from developed
cities. The former definition states that, “Urban archaeology encompasses all archaeological
The Impact of Urban Sprawl
research that happens in an urban setting” (Staski, 2008). The modern interpretation has been
referred to as the “archaeological study of urban phenomena,” but typically urban archaeology is
defined as the “excavation of built cities” (Staski, 2008).
As is seen in the example of the Randall Mound, the past twenty years have exhibited a
shift in perspective about preservation. Urban development now contributes to preservation on
many levels, and the integration of archaeological assistance in urban development enables
proper execution of fieldwork and excavating techniques (Staski, 2008). Urban archaeology is a
costly, and challenging endeavor, but the long term effects result in an improved preservation
technique that not only contributes to education, but assists in the discovery of valuable new data
(Staski, 2008). This data is valuable in filling in the missing pieces of Florida’s cultural past, as
well as contributing to society’s awareness and knowledge of “the human experience” (Staski,
Urban archaeologists are concerned with the development of cities, and the “unique
prehistoric cultural and behavioral patterns,” that existed before the present day cities had been
developed (Staski, 2008). The research done employing urban archaeology has provided missing
pieces of the past, as well as contributed to the study of urban settings, an aspect that urban
archaeologists find of considerable interest (Staski, 2008). The theory of urbanization is an
important issue that archaeologists must consider when conducting research as it outlines the
patterns of change that have occurred over time and assists in the establishment of progressive
developing techniques (Staski, 2008). Another benefit to theoretical study for archaeologists is
that it helps them to better understand the environment in which they conduct research, which in
turn aids in ecosystem preservation (Staski, 2008).
The Impact of Urban Sprawl
Florida’s coast attracts millions of people with desire to live on its blue crested shores
and white sand beaches. “Over 6.5 million residents and 37 million annual tourists rely on the
region and its $200 billion economy for their livelihoods and well-being” (Cypress, 1999).
Looking at these statistics it would appear that the desire to live in Florida’s beautiful
environment, outweigh the environmental concern attached to coastal development. While
environmental demands for ecosystem protection are matched with demands for coastal
development, Florida struggles to maintain a balance that accommodates for both necessities. As
more land is developed the threat to natural ecosystems and natural resources increase. This
leads to the destruction of the very thing that attracts people to Florida’s magnificent shorelines
and natural environment (Gibson, 1998).
However, the affects of urban sprawl have an even more devastating factor; further
development and depletion of natural resources ultimately will result in Florida becoming
uninhabitable. This presents a problem as Florida depends on its tourism for economic stability
as well. To manage this ecosystem degradation, a system known as “sustainable development”
was implemented to integrate mass tourism with ecology to generate more income for the state
and preserve natural ecosystems in the process (Gibson, 1998). “In its advance state of tourist
development, ecotourism remains important in parks and preserves” (Gibson, 1998).
Sustainable development and management of Florida’s natural resources and ecosystems
is a problem in need of interdisciplinary integration as it combines ecological issues that are a
result of economic issues. The issue has only before been seen through the lens of one
perspective or another, failing to integrate all three to find a common ground. The management
of natural ecosystems in the past influenced by the theories of carrying capacity and sustainable
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yield goals were intended to stabilize employment and create a constant need for demand
(Holling, 2000).
Initially these policies accomplished what they set out to do, however, their “success
resulted in slow changes in key ecological, social, and cultural components not captured in
management models” (Holling, 2000). Presently, institutional theory provides an understanding
of the variety of arrangements and rules that have evolved in different societies to build harmony
between people and nature (Holling, 2000). However, despite the efforts of social scientists to
describe the manner in which people “store, maintain, and use knowledge in stable
circumstances,” an integrative approach is necessary to give equal attention to the comparable
“dynamic dimensions” that have developed in the disciplines of economics and ecology (Holling,
In response to the need for addressing current land-use policies, The Resilience Project,
an ecological preservation group was launched with the aim of implementing an interdisciplinary
approach to the problem of urban sprawl and the root of its existence. The Resilience Project
consists of a five year endeavor which combined an international group of ecologists, economists,
social scientists, and mathematicians with the goal of “developing and testing elements of an
integrative theory at a level of simplicity necessary for understanding, but with the complexity
required for developing sustainable policy” (Holling, 2000). To vanquish the uncoupling
ingrained within present theoretical weaknesses, The Resilience Project fuses an integration of
ecological and economical theory, with institutional and evolutionary theory to overcome these
barriers, and discover new methods aimed at solving the issue of urban sprawl and its devastating
affect on natural ecosystems (Holling, 2000).
The Impact of Urban Sprawl
Interdisciplinary Analysis
To study the impact of urban sprawl on Florida’s natural ecosystems and research
compromising efforts to both maintain Florida’s population while preserving its natural history,
it is necessary to examine the conflicts found between political ecology theorists and cultural
ecology theorists. The conflicts exist on several levels; however, they combine on another
theoretical level, political ecology theory (Greenburg & Park, 1994). The studies in political
ecology, though a viable compromise between the two cognates, have been criticized for failing
to incorporate the ecological perspective equally, giving more focus to the political side
(Greenburg & Park, 1994).
Political ecologists see development as economic stability of first importance and focus
on preservation second. From an anthropological perspective, this development is seen as
possible threat to natural ecosystems. The impact of urban sprawl from a political level
challenges those reflected in the ecological perspective that focus solely on ecosystem
preservation. This conflict can be viewed from a theoretical perspective as well. Represented by
a Marxist conflict theory perspective, and Durkheim’s structural functionalist theory, the conflict
between the political theorists and the ecologists is represented in a structural functional manner
through political ecology (Greenburg & Park, 1994).
Other conflicts that exist between these disciplines are found in the word preservation
(Resnik, 2010). Political ecologists see preservation as balancing the economy, and through this,
establishing a healthy society (Resnik, 2010). The anthropologist sees a larger perspective; the
long-term benefit for the environment. Failure to address needed changes in present land policy
design will lead to more development, and as a result Florida’s ecosystems and natural resources
The Impact of Urban Sprawl
will be at a greater disadvantage. Through the eventual reassessment and revision of present
policies, and the implementation of archaeological and scientific methods and technology, the
impacts of urban sprawl on these natural ecosystems can be addressed, and reduced.
Environmentalist theories of preservation are challenged in conforming to theories
relevant to economic development. Though political ecology offers a potential theoretical
solution to the impact of urban sprawl, it is necessary to integrate a tangible solution. From an
anthropological perspective, it is essential to educate economists of the long-term benefit of
preservation and ecotourism, while understanding the present limitations of state funding. The
economists need to bend their ideas to develop a comprehensive plan that accommodates the
requests of the environmentalists and reassesses the current land-use policies. This compromise
integrates the two approaches and theoretical ideas into a resolution that adheres to both.
Outlined in this research are methods of preservation that should be explored to target the
problem of urban sprawl. The methodology employed in the anthropological research of this
study composed of fieldwork, survey analysis, empirical analysis, and mathematical models
(Sampson, 2011). The benefits to this research are immeasurable in that they provide valuable
information about Florida’s history, and enable ease of future excavation and fieldwork by
implementing new technology (Sampson, 2011). These endeavors are essential in future research
as they will help archaeologists to assist in future developing projects and dampen urban
sprawl’s threat to natural ecosystems. Limitations found within this research are mainly cost
related and involve time consuming methods (Sampson, 2011).
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The Randall Mound excavations employ methods of experimental research involving
fieldwork and empirical analysis. Sociologically, a measure of qualitative analysis measures
society’s perspective on the development of ecosystems (Walker, 2002). Quantitatively, this
research is measured by comparing developing practices from past and present projects (Walker,
2002). Fieldwork done by urban archaeologists is challenging work that provides several
obstacles. Methodologically, the challenge for urban archaeologists is in the recognition of how
“spatial and material patterns reflect behavioral and cultural reality” (Staski, 2008) Other
challenges in the employment of urban archaeology involve acquiring approval to conduct
fieldwork, as well as difficulties in acquiring valuable data due to inaccessibility (Staski, 2008).
Sociological methods employed within the research on compact development include a
quantitative survey analysis to examine the advantages of compact development. The study
examines the impact of this policy on natural ecosystems, and the politically influenced decisions
that have had an impact on development practices and policies (Efraim, 2005). Studies also
include an analysis of secondary sources, including the GMA and its state level regulations,
academic studies and newspaper clips, and government and statistical reports (Efraim, 2006).
These studies are beneficial in that they offer a deeper understanding of the source of urban
sprawl from a political perspective, while exploring possible options in preventing further spread
of urban development towards natural ecosystems. Possible limitations in these research methods
lie in analysis of outdated material (Efraim, 2006).
Research conducted in studies pertaining to solid theory and soft implementation of
policy design and compact development, used statistical analysis of empirical data and
mathematical models to assist in research (Efraim, 2006). Evaluating present policy designs on
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urban growth is beneficial and essential in understanding the effects of policy design outlining
urban development regulations. Examining the political influence in land-use policies, and the
threat these influences have on Florida’s natural ecosystems can benefit Florida by enabling
fairer voting practices and state regulated policies (Efraim, 2006). Limitations in this study could
consist of incorrect statistical data which leads to unreliable research and data, and unreliable, or
valuable, dishonest sources (Efraim, 2006).
Sociological reasons for urban sprawl are examined through an integrated analysis of
empirical data, mathematical models, and critical thinking. This research is beneficial in that it
provides better insight into the sociological reasons for urban growth and examines the problem
from a perspective that is not commonly attributed to having an affect on urban sprawl. The
limitations within this research could lie in inaccurate qualitative data, resulting from small
sample groups incapable of representing the sociological perspective of urban growth accurately
(Gibson, 1998).
The research provided regarding smart growth’s solution to addressing urban
development problems used statistical analysis of empirical data to analyze the potential benefits
of smart growth and its effectiveness in preservation (Resnik, 2010). The limitations to research
regarding smart-growth, lie in the fact that it has not been tested thoroughly in enough areas, or
for a long enough of duration to prove it has any long-term benefits to ecosystem preservation
(Resnik, 2010).
To study the impact of urban sprawl on Florida’s natural ecosystems and compromising
efforts to both maintain Florida’s population while preserving its natural history, it is necessary
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to implement an interdisciplinary perspective. When applied to the impact of urban sprawl to
natural ecosystems and the need for environmental and ecosystem preservation versus economic
need for development, the economist sees a growing population as a need for increased
economic development, regardless of costs of destruction to natural ecosystems. This destruction
will in turn lead to an unhealthy environment for Florida’s natural species and for society, a loss
of culture, appreciation of history, as well as a loss of inhabitable land. The anthropologist,
ecologist, and environmentalist see preservation as necessary and seek to protect all natural
ecosystems from development.
Future research examining the impact of urban sprawl on Florida’s ecosystems is crucial
for sustainability of Florida’s resources, and preservation of natural ecosystems. To implement
change, initiative needs to be taken to reassess current land-use policy and its long-term affect on
the ecosystem and necessary resources. Research should explore further assessment of compact
development policies, and the political root from which these policies are developed. In addition,
more research should be done examining all aspects of ecosystem depletion and the long-term
affect this has on Florida’s growth and sustainability. Future research pertaining to the
archaeological perspective of urban sprawl should include further study and implementation of
new technological advancements to assist in excavation, fieldwork, and preservation. Future
efforts should continue to utilize the integration of interdisciplinary study to aid in future
preservation and research.
Future efforts to research this topic should explore in depth the multiple facets of
ecosystems and what is being done to protect each individually. From wetland preservation to
increasing Florida’s natural resources through preservation, new research could provide better
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in mind the interest of its future (Cypress, 1999).
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