Instapundit notes a study due out this week on "suburbanization" and remembers something he wrote four years ago.
Sprawl didn't become a problem until the wealthy and powerful were joined by the hoi polloi. Thanks to greater wealth and improvements in transportation, they were able to move from teeming tenements to less-urban settings.
I live on land that was pasture a decade ago. Older houses and cities have their charm, but it's nice living in a house with new material - especially when government sees the older stuff as wasteful and needing upgrade.