The Role of States and Nation-states in Smart Growth Planning
New Horizons in Regional Science series
Edited by Gerrit-Jan Knaap, Huibert A. Haccoû, Kelly J. Clifton and John W. Frece
Chapter 2: Containing Sprawl
Chang-Hee Christine Bae INTRODUCTION This chapter discusses a variety of policy instruments (both regulatory and incentives driven) used to contain sprawl in the United States (speciﬁcally Oregon and Washington), including urban growth boundaries. It also discusses some of the key evaluation criteria for urban containment policies. There are at least three interrelated concepts relevant to containing sprawl that are familiar to all urban planners in the United States: urban containment (narrowly deﬁned), growth management and smart growth. However, diﬀerent people attach diﬀerent meanings to each of them, so comparing them is quite complicated. Some planners interpret urban containment (UC) strategies quite broadly, to include many of the growth management (GM) policy instruments, but the narrowest and possibly more precise deﬁnition would be a type of Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) to limit development inside. This could be the intended result of a speciﬁc policy (as in the prototypical Portland, Oregon case) or the incidental consequence of natural constraints – usually mountains and/or the sea, for example, Los Angeles, Juneau (Alaska), Medellin (Colombia). Urban containment strategies have been in place in one form or another for several decades both in the United States and abroad (in fact, there was a 3-mile radius containment perimeter introduced by King James I in 17th century England) (Baer 2002). The key idea is that imposing a deﬁned boundary around a city beyond which development will be prohibited (at least up to some other jurisdiction) will simultaneously prevent sprawl outside the...
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