A new involved study has looked at land use patterns over the past few decades in the US and has shown that what is termed "urban sprawl" has increased, as can be expected with population growth. What has changed though is the necessity of being tied to the core downtown areas of the urban centers. In previous years and decades, the areas closer to downtown kept filling up, so the "suburbs" eventually became the "urban" again, but now it is holding, the 'burbs are existing as stand alone new communities that are a lot more self sufficient, and the people there are happier with their bits of space around them and easier access to more rural pursuits. Changing demographics and socio economic needs and realities like telecommuting are eliminating the "anchor" of the densest urban areas.
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