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Tennessee Cities Among Worst For Urban Sprawl


A new report that ranks American cities on their ability to contain urban sprawl had few kind words for Tennessee’s largest cities, ranking most of them among the country’s worst.

The Smart Growth America study looked at 2010 census data and graded cities on a variety of factors, including population density, the connectivity of streets, land use and the distance residents had to travel to get to work, businesses and other activities.  Each city was then given a “sprawl index”; the lower the number, the better that city is at managing sprawl.  New York (sprawl index 203.4) was deemed the best, while Atlanta (sprawl index 41.0) was listed as the country’s worst.

But Atlanta had plenty of company from cities just to the north.  When categorized by size, Nashville and Memphis were listed among the country’s 10 worst large cities, Chattanooga and Knoxville made the list of medium-sized cities and Kingsport/Bristol and Murfreesboro were ranked among the worst small cities in America.