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
Conclusion: A Retrospective and a Call for More Trans-Atlantic Research
Gerrit-Jan Knaap and Huibert A. Haccoû To view the sprawl phenomenon at its simplest, said Pietro S. Nivola, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and author of Laws of the Landscape: How Policies Shape Cities in Europe and America (1999), one need only stand atop the Eiﬀel Tower in Paris and the Empire State Building in New York City. From the former the city is surrounded by farms, but from the latter all you can see is megalopolis. This contrast, claims Nivola, reﬂects the inﬂuence of market forces and government policies, although geography, demographics and social factors such as crime have also played a role (El Nasser 2000). With this, it is fair to say, most students of land use in North America and Europe would agree. Despite such agreement, there is much on which the authors of these chapters disagree. Some view sprawl as the natural result of market forces while others view it as a clear case for public intervention. Some favor intervention by local governments; others favor intervention by states and nation-states. As instruments of intervention, some favor incentives, some favor regulations and some favor plans. Though short of providing a consensus view, these chapters oﬀer new insights into each of these ideas. More importantly, perhaps, they provide a glimpse into the potential insights that could be gained through further trans-Atlantic research. The debate on urban containment oﬀers a good example. Christine Bae argues that containment policies in the US have not...
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