We're talking two types of cities -- compact cities versus sprawling cities and this new report says the more compact your city is, the better it is for you.
Research newly released by Smart Growth America shows the group studied 221 metropolitan areas with a population greater than 200,000 people.
It found that residents in sprawling urban areas have fewer economic opportunities, are less healthy, and have shorter life spans compared to people who live in more compact areas.
The study found a three-year difference in life expectancy between those who live in sprawling areas and those in compact parts of the country -- though there is no clear reason why.
So who fared worst and is most affected negatively by the most urban sprawl?
According to the report, among cities where the metro area population is greater than one million people -- Atlanta, Georgia takes the top spot as having the most urban sprawl. it is followed by Nashville, Tennessee; Riverside-San Bernardino, California; Warren, Michigan; and Charlotte, North Carolina.
On the flip side, the most compact metropolitan areas in our country, where the population is greater than one million, are New York; San Francisco; Miami; Santa Ana, California; and Detroit, Michigan.
smart growth america's chief of staff said the report shows the connection between urban development and health but also noted that just because sprawl is related to negative social conditions -- does not mean that it causes them.