We know that more sprawl is actually twice as expensive to the rate- and tax-payer than increasing density within existing urban limits because of all the additional infrastructure that’s needed. But there’s added cost to the residents of the sprawl as well. Not just more time lost to commuting, but a more oil-dependent lifestyle that’s only getting costlier.
Check out these maps of the average spent on transport by Sydney households with petrol at $1.50 a litre:
And $2 a litre
And then, think about what happens when oil doubles in price in real terms in the next decade.
It’s no coincidence that the US housing market collapse and the ensuing global financial crisis began when oil prices skyrocketed. And it’s no coincidence that the hardest hit locales were the so-called ‘exurbs’ – places like Victorville.
Housing and transport are two sides of the same coin. Adding more sprawl without considering the impacts of peak oil is stupid.