Urban sprawl

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by sakvaka, Jun 28, 2013.

  1. sakvaka

    sakvaka Senior Member

    Urban sprawl is a geographical term which describes the development in big cities during the last 150 years. Public transport, private automobiles and faster infrastructures, including the Internet, have made it possible for city residents to conduct their lives farther from the city centre. Consequently, the functions of the city have become increasingly dispersed; in some parts of the world, only banks and specialized office buildings are located in the CBD, and residential areas have been concentrated around major highways and traffic nodes.

    How do you say 'urban sprawl' in your languages? Do your expressions refer to any cities in particular?


    Nurmijärvi-ilmiö ("the Nurmijärvi phenomenon")
    kaupunkirakenteen hajoaminen ("the breakdown of city structure", this term is sometimes considered to be too suggestive)


    utglesning (what does it mean?)


    lo sprawl urbano
    la città diffusa ("the diffuse city")
    la dispersione urbana ("urban dispersion")


    die Zersiedelung (what does it mean?)

  2. Perseas Senior Member

  3. ilocas2 Senior Member

    On the Czech Wikipedia it's called sídelní kaše, which means 'settlement puree', but I think I didn't read it anywhere outside Wikipedia before.
  4. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    To try to answer Sakvaka's questions,

    Swedish utglesning seems to be composed of ut "out" and glesna "to thin out, become open"

    German Zersiedlung is made up of Siedlung "settlement" plus the prefix zer-, which I think adds an idea of "diffusion"

    Here are a couple of other terms, even though they're not from my native language:

    Icelandic útþensla = út "out" + þensla "expansion" (perhaps derived from þenja "stretch")

    Slovene razraščanje mesta = raščanje "growth" + the prefix raz- (many meanings, but here it seems to give an idea of diffusion) + mesto "city, town"
  5. arielipi Senior Member

    In hebrew the word for suburb is פרור parvar, and urban sprawl is verbing it - פרוור pirvur.
  6. OneStroke Senior Member

    Hong Kong, China
    Chinese - Cantonese (HK)
    Chinese: 城市蔓延 城市蔓延 chéngshì mànyán city growing new branches and extending
  7. Stoggler

    Stoggler Senior Member

    Sussex, GBR
    UK English
    Welsh is a straight translation from the English: blerdwf trefol (but with noun-adjective word order)
  8. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Dutch: I cannot find a better word than 'verstedelijking', lit. urbanisation, or in more words: landscapes becoming more 'urban'/ citylike the longer the more... We might also say: 'de stad dijt uit', meaning 'the city is growing by swelling' (so losing part of itself, but uncontrollably, not planned)...

    I'd like to add something to Gavril's explanation though:

    I'd say 'zer-' is more negative though: 'zer-' implies not just diffusion but also falling [or making fall] apart*. So these cities fall apart by growing (as a result of diffusion, which as such implies I suppose, something like 'dilution'.

    [*BTW: think of zersetzen (something like falling apart, I believe), zerlegen (taking apart), ...]
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014
  9. YellowOnline

    YellowOnline Senior Member

    Berlin, Germany
    Dutch - Belgium
    Based on contextual translations from European law, there is a preference to translate it as "(ongebreidelde) stadsuitbreiding" or "stedelijke expansie", and to a lesser extend as "stedelijke woekeringen" or "stedelijke wildgroei".

    "De stad dijt uit" is a nice phrasing, but it can not really be used as a noun. I'm in favour of a neologism "stadsuitdijing" though. Let's start using it now as a proper translation - every word needs to start somewhere.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014
  10. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    I was afraid my suggestions were not the best ones, too general. Yours are correct: woekeren is uncontrolled growth, just like wildgroei, growing 'wildly'. Just like ongebreidelde, unbridled. Perfect! --- Mind you: this is not uitdeinen, but uitdijen, grow out... So uitdijing would be correct, but it does not sound good. Stadswoeker would be better then.

    [Deinen is typical of water: deining is the movement, sometimes easy-going, sometimes strong. uitdeinen is what the water does after you throw a stone into it...]

Share This Page