Topic – Our Growing Cities

Share to Brightspace Continue with Brightspace

Read the Following Selection

Read about our growing cities, or click on the play button below to listen aloud.

Our Growing Cities


Over time, most cities get larger.

What Happens?

Families who live in a city have children who grow up and need their own places to live. People move to the city from other places. So the city needs more houses, apartment buildings, and condos for people to live in.


People build new houses, apartment buildings, and condos on green land around the city. So the city gets larger and takes up more land. This is called urban sprawl.

Farmland around the city is sold so people can build on it. So there is less farmland in the area for growing food.


When there are fewer farms in an area, more food needs to come from places farther away. So transporting more food on trucks, trains, and planes puts more pollution into the air.

Trees and plants that grew on the green land are destroyed when new buildings go up. Some animals will not find a new place to live and will die. So animals that need trees and plants for food or shelter must try to find a new place to live. Animals can become endangered or extinct.

How Cities Deal with Urban Sprawl

Here are some things cities are doing to stop or slow down the problem of urban sprawl.

  Building houses with smaller backyards: This means more houses can fit on a large piece of land. Then less green land is destroyed for new homes.

• Building taller buildings in a city: Taller buildings provide more spaces for people to live and work inside the city. Many homes can fit on a small patch of land. Then there is less need to put up new buildings on green land.

  Creating greenbelts: A greenbelt is a green area around a city where people are not allowed to build. Only farms, parks, and wild countryside are allowed in a greenbelt, so urban sprawl will not take over the land.

Now, show what you know!

Complete some questions about the reading selection by clicking “Begin Questions” below.