When Suburb Becomes a Work Center: Capturing the Progress of Urban Sprawl in Wesley Chapel, Pasco County, Florida: 2003-2018

Authors: Milena Janiec*, Independent Research
Topics: Urban Geography, Remote Sensing, Urban and Regional Planning
Keywords: gentrification, land use and land-cover changes, remote sensing, textual analysis
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Taylor, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Wesley Chapel, a census-designated place (CDP), is located north of Tampa Bay, Florida. In recent years, the area has experienced a fast population growth. This paper employs the “growth machine” (Molotch 1976) perspective to follow the process of suburban sprawl through the physical and discursive evidence and considers how the intensification of Tampa Bay’s urbanization process leads to creation of new communities. In turn, these new centers, through infrastructure and economic growth, seek their own “place on the map.”

This study uses mixed methods. Namely, to illustrate changes in the landscape, it utilizes Landsat imagery to derive a change in impervious surface between September 2008, a month before a shopping mall opened in the area and May 2018, when an artificial lagoon was constructed by the real-estate developers. The physical evidence of the land change is then analyzed with the support of additional, textual evidence from the Tampa-Bay area news sources and communities’ advertisements.

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