In order to differentiate the peculiarities of urban sprawl in Russia, to set a starting point for a further journey, we are going to distinguish the American type of urban sprawl.

Robert Bruegmann in his book Sprawl: A Compact History says:

After all, sprawl, like “urban blight,” the “slum,” or many other terms connected with urban development, is not so much an objective reality as a cultural concept, a term born at a specific time and place and used over the years by a wide range of individuals and groups for specific purposes. In the process, it has accumulated around it an entire body of ideas and assumptions.

Based on it we consider urban sprawl through the meaning it has in national planning culture, not just in spatial patterns. Nevertheless spatial transformations occur on a certain set of reasons. And before going too deep into ideas and assumptions, it could be useful to have a look at the observed reality first.

In USA one can find a number of places, which are common examples of the sprawl development pattern, and Atlanta Metropolitan area, Georgia, is one of them. Population of Atlanta MA grew from 3.08 millions in 1990 to 6.02 millions in 2019. While the area is 22,486 km², population density is rather low - 267.7 persons/km². Modal share of the private motor vehicle is around 86%, so the whole life is car-oriented. GDP of the Atlanta Metropolitan area is over $400 billions. Aggregate CO2 emissions in Atlanta MA in 2000 were estimated as 103 million eCO2 tons.

American urban sprawl is an expansion of urban areas, when the land consumption going up faster then the number of inhabitants. The main bet in transportation is set on car, so the more roads you build - the bigger accessibility zone you get. Public transit system is limited and it is mainly used by people with the lowest income. City centre (CBD) is the main spot for the job allocation, while it is considered to be prestigious to live in a big house in the suburbs. Traffic jams lead to the everlasting road construction. It makes more sense to build additional single-family residential zones even further from CBD. This mechanism works under certain limits of land resources, which are now far from exhaustion.

Though it is strongly critisized, there are a lot of supporters of urban sprawl and car-oriented development in USA. It is an ongoing political discussion, spread across the Atlantic ocean too.