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Urban Containment: The Social and Economic Consequences of Limiting Housing and Travel Options

March 7, 2016

The physical expansion of cities, known as “urban sprawl,” has been a principal concern of urban planners for decades, which has led to the adoption of “urban containment.

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The physical expansion of cities, known as “urban sprawl,” has been a principal concern of urban planners for decades, which has led to the adoption of “urban containment.” The most important urban containment policies are restrictions on both inner city and suburban development through the use of restrictive zoneing and growth contril policies which act as land-rationing measures—and policies to reduce light duty vehicle use. Urban containment policies retard the productivity of and economic growth of metropolitan areas and significantly degrade people’s everyday lives, leading to a lower standard of living,  greater poverty and increased homelessness. 

Author
Wendell Cox is a consultant specializing in urban policy (housing, land use, transportation, governance), demographics and intercity transport and a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
wcox@heartland.org