urban sprawl

Yes, we already knew that living in a home that's far away from work or from city services can be costly because of transportation costs. Now, we have a slightly better idea of how costly.

Better Cities, an Ithica, New York-based advocate for growth of mixed-use and more urban communities, commissioned the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) to do a study on the cost of sprawl in 20 U.S. metropolitan areas.

CNT found that the difference in transportation costs can be as high as $10,000 a year, and those costs are rising with gas prices. Urban neighborhood dwellers spent about $1,400 a year more on transportation than they did a decade ago, while suburban folks spent about $4,000 a year more.

As for specific cities, New York City dwellers near transportation lines spend about $5,000 a year on transportation, the lowest in the U.S., while those who lived in the suburbs of Olympia, Washington, spend almost $18,000 a year, according to the study.