As more and more people flock to cities urbanization threatens to make the city an inhospitable place. Overcrowding, urban decay, and high cost of living are just some of the implications. As the center of cities succumb to the ghettos and as vacant lots begin to be converted to residential areas, the more affluent members of society will not hesitate to move out of urban centers. But they cannot go too far because they either work or have a substantial investment in the city. Besides, those city folks have already adapted to city living and it will be very hard for them to leave all this behind.
The solution calls for a residential area that is close to the heart of the city and yet a place that offers more space, less crime, and is closer to nature. The answer is to live in the fringes of the city and transform the semi-rural areas into residential areas of gated communities and high-end residences. In some cities it is not only the rich who live in the suburbs but members of the middle-class who find employment in the city but could not afford the apartments or whatever dwellings are available in the city. They will endure the long commute as long as they live near their offices etc.
The phenomenon of living in the boundaries between cities and the rural areas and the transformation of the agricultural lands found in the outskirts of the cities into residential areas is called sprawling or urban sprawl. The negative implication of this setup is hard to miss. The agricultural lands needed to ensure the steady supply of food is diminished and at the same time office workers are being forced to travel long distances in order to stay in their job. The stress of the long commute they will endure just so they can pursue the American Dream but they will surely pay the price.