Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2024

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Environmental Studies


John Van Buren


This thesis addresses the pressing issue of ecological problems of urban sprawl and its intricate impacts on urban health, with a particular focus on vulnerable communities in Perth, Australia. Chapter 1 presents the city's historical background and emphasizes the depletion of ecosystem services, underscoring the need for environmental justice. It also introduces the causes and effects of the sprawl in Perth and draws upon a diverse range of environmental problems created by suburbia, such as air pollution, biodiversity loss, water pollution, and runoff. As these threats translate into urban health declines, such as respiratory problems and increased healthcare issues, Chapter 1 addresses the potential ways to deal with these sets of problems. The following chapters apply interdisciplinary perspectives. Chapter 2 delves into the history of environmental problems and the development of urban sprawl in the suburbs of Perth and correlates the findings with the increase in healthcare problems. Chapter 3 explores human rights issues, such as equal accessibility to educational and healthcare institutions, which expands the discussion of environmental injustice mentioned in Chapter 1. Chapter 4 focuses on environmental politics by analyzing the environmental and urban policies from the past and present while examining their effectiveness and consideration for communities and the ecosystem. Chapter 5 synthesizes the interdisciplinary analysis and formulates a set of concrete policy recommendations to mitigate healthcare issues, accessibility disparities, and ecological waste. These recommendations underscore the need for comprehensive urban planning, transportation reform, affordable housing initiatives, and strengthened environmental regulations. Moreover, they emphasize that with the changes, the city will become economically cost-effective and sustainable. As urban sprawl poses a twofold threat: it erodes urban well-being while exacerbating environmental degradation, this thesis underscores the complex relationship between urban development patterns and equity and offers a holistic policy framework for addressing this critical issue.