The Sprawling of America: In Defense of a Dynamic City

The Sprawling of America: In Defense of a Dynamic City

Urban sprawl has sparked a national debate over land-use policy. At least 19 states have established either state growth-management laws or task forces to protect farmland and open space. Dozens of cities and counties across the nation have adopted urban growth boundaries in order to contain development in existing areas and prevent the spread of suburbanization to outlying and rural areas.
Despite widespread concern over sprawl, a clear definition remains illusive in public debate. The debate over sprawl is driven primarily by general concerns that low-density residential development threatens farmland and open space, increases public service costs, encourages the people and wealth to leave central cities, and degrades the environment.
Evidence on suburbanization and low-density development suggests suburbanization does not significantly threaten the quality of life for most people, and land development can be managed more effectively through real-estate markets than comprehensive land-use planning.

Samuel Staley

Reason Foundation

January 1999

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By |2018-01-01T00:00:00-08:00January 1st, 2018|Efficiency/Growth, Land Use Regulation, Reference, Reforms|