Urban growth management: Effectiveness of instruments and policies

Research output: Book/ReportBookResearch


This deliverable report is part of PLURELs Workpackage 2.4: Spatial development strategies
and scenarios, where a review of policy options and their effectiveness is included. Our
purpose of this paper is to look into different policies, strategies, measures and instruments
that aim at managing urban growth and curb urban sprawl in a wider sense.
The main methodology of the paper is a desk-research based review of policy options
supplemented with field study and interviews in selected cased study regions. This paper
consists of two parts. The first part is based on literature, while the second part collects
examples of policies, spatial strategies and plans across the PLUREL cases, and
supplemented with Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington as the most advanced
American growth management cases, as well the Copenhagen area.
Results / findings / conclusion
Although there are contradictions in the evidence presented in the literature, we
believe that it may be safely said that urban growth management policies have an
influence on urban growth under certain preconditions including: sufficient time
for implementation and continuity of efforts; choice of appropriate policy measures;
clarity of visions and goals; coordination with other policies including economic
incentives; rural policies providing incentives to maintain agricultural activities;
political commitment and acceptance; support/framing from higher level policies;
and finally economic incentives and de-incentives.
The evidence from the case studies generally confirm the role of national planning
levels as well as the need for clear visions and strategies, and policy integration.
Additional topics highlighted in the case studies include the existence and mandate
of regional bodies, the role of European rural policies, and finally urban attractivity
policies. Effective regional bodies are needed to deal with urban expansion and
peri-urbanisation at a relevant scale; European rural and agricultural policies
makes up the main ‘policy complex’ targeting the non-urban area including its land
uses; while lastly leverage of urban attractions, competitiveness, and quality of life
are pursued by all with a likely impact on land use and land use change patterns.
Such measures are likely to be an important component in a growth managing
policy package but very difficult to assess for their effectiveness.
Translated title of the contributionKontrol af byvækst: Hvilke politikker og instrumenter er effktive
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages88
Commissioning bodyEU 7th Framework Programme
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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