Do Planning Policies Limit the Expansion of Cities?

  • Stephen SheppardEmail author
Part of the Advances in Spatial Science book series (ADVSPATIAL)


… it is essential … that the town should be planned as a whole, and not left to grow up in a chaotic manner as has been the case with all English towns, and more or less with the towns of all countries. A town, like a flower, or a tree, or an animal, should, at each stage of its growth, possess unity, symmetry, completeness, and the effect of growth should never be to destroy that unity, but to give it greater purpose….

– Ebenezer Howard, Garden Cities of Tomorrow, 1898

This paper considers whether planning policies, as practiced in the world’s cities, have the potential for controlling or limiting the expansion of urban land use. The question is certainly relevant for design of policies to respond to urban sprawl. The analysis does not establish that these constraints are necessarily desirable, but does find some evidence that some aspects of planning regulations can be effective in limiting urban expansion.


Land use Remote sensing Urban planning Urban sprawl 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsWilliams CollegeWilliamstownUSA

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