“Urban Sprawl” and the Michigan Landscape: A Market-Oriented Approach

“Urban Sprawl” and the Michigan Landscape: A Market-Oriented Approach

Local and state government officials and environmental activists use the term to create images of disorder, chaos, and irrational decision making about land use by Michigan’s private landowners. These officials and activists have adopted “stopping sprawl” as their mantra to support more government control over land use decisions through central planning and policies aimed at farmland preservation.
Derogatory references to “urban sprawl” are now part of the popular debate over land use issues, but amazingly, no one has ever bothered to clearly define what is meant by “sprawl.” Often, the term is indiscriminately applied toward any form of suburbanization and “urban sprawl” has thus become an “I know it when I see it” issue.
This study critically examines suburbanization and land use in Michigan and determines that the state’s economy and citizens’ quality of life are not threatened by “sprawl.”

Samuel Staley

Reason Foundation

September 1999

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