Public perception of environmental, social and economic impacts of urban sprawl in Vilnius
da Silva Pereira, Paulo Alexandre
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Urban sprawl is recognized to have strong negative impacts on environmental, social and economic aspects. The expansion of the urban areas has important effects on energy and water consumption, air and water pollution, human health problems, soil and land consumption and degradation, as economic and social segregation and exclusion. The aim of this paper is to study the Vilnius public perception about urban sprawl in the environmental, social and economic dimensions, according to the age and professional occupation of the respondents. The results showed that the participants were concerned about urban sprawl effects. However, there were differences among ages and professional occupations. Younger people that worked in NGO and municipality gave more importance to the problem, and older government and municipally workers claimed for a better regulation. The perception of urban sprawl impacts on the environment were specially observed in consumption, pollution and human health, and less in soil, land degradation and resource depletion. Younger respondents valued more the impacts on air pollution, whereas government workers valued more the impacts in traffic aspects. The social and economic questions were considered all very important. Younger respondents were more concerned with the long distance travels and household expenditure than the older respondents. This last group claimed for more regulations and rated high the effects of urban sprawl in the rural environment, while young respondents – in urban areas.
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