Best new planning term in years: “spreadlining”


Friday, @schmangee of and pointed out an  interesting issue on her Twitter feed. It noted:

“We need issue branding as good as the term gentrification for the more common & devastating combination of sprawl, segregation & bad transit.”

A number of us threw out ideas and responses to her request, but the one suggested by @inthewabe exceeded all the others by light years and truly encapsulated the urban planning, land use, and socio-economic issues trying to be conveyed in one word:


This term is perfect for the following reasons:

  • Spread is a basically synonym for “sprawl.”
  • It rhymes with and sounds very similar to “redlining.”
  • It evokes an image of low-density, auto-centric development over a large area which relates to sprawl, segregation, and bad transit.


In short, “spreadling” is the perfect term! Congrats and kudos to @inthewabe for nailing it with this term – I have already used it in some online discussion about growth pressures here on Traverse City area.  Don’t be surprised if you hear and see “spreadlining” being used quite often in the near future. Kind of cool to witness the birth of a new word. Namaste!

This entry was posted in Advocacy, branding, Cities, Communications, demographics, density, diversity, environment, geography, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Best new planning term in years: “spreadlining”

  1. What is the exact definition of “spreadlining”?


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