Thursday, April 7, 2005
ABQ 2nd in Sprawl in Rockies Study
By Jim Ludwick
Journal Staff Writer
The Albuquerque area ranks second in the Rocky Mountains for its urban sprawl, according to a new study from Colorado College.
Only Pueblo, Colo., has more sprawl than Albuquerque, the study says. Colorado Springs, where the college is based, falls just behind Albuquerque.
The report was released this week at the State of the Rockies Conference on the campus of Colorado College.
Researchers used census data and computer mapping to study residential housing density, as well as changes in metropolitan areas from the 1970s to the 1990s. The study compared the 11 largest cities in an area including Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.
Mayor Martin Chávez had little comment about the study. He said he has seen other reports that suggest Albuquerque ranks high in the United States for its density, a seemingly opposite finding.
City Councilor Michael Cadigan said he was not surprised by the study's results.
"Only in the last three years have we really made any serious effort to address sprawl. It's a big battleship to turn around," Cadigan said.
The report said sprawl contributes to traffic congestion, diminished air and water quality, the loss of agricultural land and natural habitat, and local government financial problems.