Skip to main content

The Fundamental Challenge in Measuring Sprawl: Which Land Should Be Considered?

Buy Article:

$43.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Lack of agreement on how to define and measure sprawl has hampered development of policy related to its causes and consequences. We question previous work for two reasons: the use of study areas that overbound or underbound sprawl landscapes, and the failure to account for land unavailable for development. We formulate “extended urban areas,” based on housing density and commuting patterns and argue that they represent a preferable geographic basis for measuring sprawl. We operationalize with satellite imagery a way for measuring land unavailable for development in these areas. We then compute five measures of urban development using the National Land Cover Data Base and decennial census data to assess the extent of sprawl in the extended urban areas of Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Los Angeles, and Washington. Our sensitivity analyses reveal that the measurement of sprawl critically depends on which land area forms the basis of the analysis, and, to a lesser degree, how one accounts for land unavailable for development.
No References
No Citations
No Supplementary Data
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: sprawl; urban policy; urbanized areas

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: George Washington University 2: Wayne State University 3: U.S. Census Bureau

Publication date: 2005-02-01

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more