Does urban sprawl contribute to increasing amounts of crime?  While one may superficially think so, the truth of the matter, according to Sterling Burnett of the National Center for Policy Analysis, is that many sprawling suburbs remain relatively less crime ridden than areas which practice so-called “smart growth.”  Take Los Angeles, for example, which despite its efforts to impose smart growth  had crime rates nearly twice that of nearby sprawling San Bernardino.  Ditto for smart growth beacons like Seattle and Portland which had crime rates roughly 30 percent higher than sprawling cities such as Denver and Raleigh-Durham.  So it appears arguments about declining crime rates may be a not-so-smart reason to support smart growth.

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