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July 16 , 2008

Growth Management in the US

Between Theory and Practice


Urban sprawl is one of the key planning issues facing many US cities, leading to the creation and adoption of a variety of approaches to control growth. However, many growth management ideas do not align well with the growth-promoting planning traditions of the US, which historically have been dominated by the concerns of the market, the landowner and the developer.

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Illustrated by a study of the San Francisco Bay Area, this book puts forward an innovative theoretical approach to growth management, analyzing it as a tool for controlling land use expansion in the US. This region makes a particularly useful study as it has encountered long term growth pressures, complex land use demands and the application of a wide variety of growth management approaches over the past few decades. Using empirical, qualitative analysis, the book examines which growth management activities have actually been put into practice and which have proved successful and questions how such a planning approach functions in today’s complex and multi-faceted planning paradigms. It concludes by stressing the different notions of interdependence in growth management: regional interdependence, interdependence between stakeholders and interdependence in planning theory.

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