Those concerned about “urban sprawl” have long touted the necessity of lowering city population levels.  But if recent statistics from Europe are any indication, it appears declining numbers of people do not necessarily lead to fewer homes, shopping malls, and roads being built.   According to the National Center for Policy Analysis, while the population of Amsterdam, for instance, dropped by 12 percent since the 1970’s, the actual size of the city increased by over 12 percent during that same period.  Ditto for the cities of Copenhagen, Frankfurt, and Hamburg, which saw their populations drop by at least 5 percent, but their sizes increase by well over 10 percent.  These facts are certain to cause more gridlock in the debate over urban sprawl.

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