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Word Count: 2,436
Urban Sprawl is a problem that will have severe consequences for all life if left unrestricted The unrestricted development of the United States and the world is rapidly contributing to the degradation of our ecosystem Moreover if over development continues there will be massive human suffering Air and water quality are in jeopardy and topsoil is being lost at an alarming rate If something isnt done soon to curtail rampant development there may be no way to prevent its destructive consequences In order to understand Urban Sprawl it is imperative to understand the history and origin of cities The historic causes of urbanization and then sub urbanization can be linked to capitalism Although many would argue that the first cities came to exist due to an innate human need for solidarity these Neolithic cities such as Mesopotamia were mere villages in comparison to the metropolises of the last 200 years True cities emerge when one class of individuals dominates another in order to extract a surplus Whether it be the nobles exploiting the peasants in the middle ages or Henry Ford exploiting autoworkers in 20th century Detroit it is exploitation for the accumulation of wealth that is the catalyst of the city When development is based on the marketplace it will be designed to maximize profit rather than maximize the health and welfare of its inhabitants Least of all the capitalist city has the least regard for ecology The result is a sprawling detriment to human and ecological health At no time was this more evident than The Industrial Revolution Europeans and then Americans found it profitable to harness rivers for power They built gristmills first and then saw mills then textile mills Eventually entrepreneurs would produce anything that they could create a market for Along the way they exploited what ever was available Men women children and immigrants competed for the lowest wages Of course the earth itself was also exploited Rivers were harnessed
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