Urban Sprawl in the West

October 3, 1997 • Volume 7, Issue 37
Can planners stop unchecked growth before it's too late?
By Mary H. Cooper

Introduction

Cities in the Western United States are growing faster than in other parts of the country. Cheap land and a strong regional tradition emphasizing property rights over government regulation have directed much of this growth outward, creating sprawling cities and far-flung suburban communities that threaten to undermine the long-term viability of the cities themselves. Limited water supplies and deteriorating air quality are among the obstacles to further growth in the region that are fueling efforts to curb sprawl. A 1973 Oregon law requiring localities to address the sprawl problem is among the models that states and cities throughout the West are studying as they grapple with fast growth. But in Portland, meanwhile, critics blame the landmark urban growth boundary with causing too much density.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Urban Planning
Jul. 27, 2012  Smart Cities
Apr. 09, 2010  Earthquake Threat
Apr. 2009  Rapid Urbanization
Jun. 23, 2006  Downtown Renaissance Updated
May 28, 2004  Smart Growth
Oct. 03, 1997  Urban Sprawl in the West
Mar. 21, 1997  Civic Renewal
Oct. 13, 1995  Revitalizing the Cities
Jun. 09, 1989  Not in My Back Yard!
Apr. 28, 1989  Do Enterprise Zones Work?
Nov. 22, 1985  Supercities: Problems of Urban Growth
Jul. 23, 1982  Reagan and the Cities
Nov. 18, 1977  Saving America's Cities
Oct. 31, 1975  Neighborhood Control
Nov. 21, 1973  Future of the City
Feb. 07, 1973  Restrictions on Urban Growth
May 20, 1970  Urbanization of the Earth
Nov. 06, 1968  New Towns
Oct. 04, 1967  Private Enterprise in City Rebuilding
Feb. 10, 1965  Megalopolis: Promise and Problems
Mar. 04, 1964  City Beautiful
Aug. 21, 1963  Urban Renewal Under Fire
Jan. 21, 1959  Metropolitan Areas and the Federal Government
Jul. 30, 1958  Persistence of Slums
Dec. 09, 1953  Outspreading Cities
Nov. 22, 1952  Slum Clearance: 1932–1952
Jan. 14, 1937  Zoning of Urban and Rural Areas
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Land Resources and Property Rights
Regional Planning and Urbanization