A New Sprawl Index In The Making

"Sprawl" has become a common, everyday word, yet until now it had little definition other than "I know it when I see it."
February 4, 2002, 7am PST | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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Writing in the Fannie Mae Foundation's journal, Housing Policy Debate, Galster et al. argue that the literature on urban sprawl confuses causes, consequences, and conditions. They present a conceptual definition of sprawl based on eight distinct dimensions of land use patterns, and test their definition for 13 urbanized areas. The results characterize Atlanta as the most sprawling and New York City as the most compact of the 13 areas tested. The test confirms the utility of the "urban sprawl indicators" approach. This article reports on the first phase of a major research project that will ultimately produce a sprawl index for a larger set of urbanized areas. This work to provide a clearer conceptual and operational definition will facilitate research on the causes and consequences of sprawl.

Thanks to Chris Steins

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Published on Sunday, February 3, 2002 in Fannie Mae Foundation
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