Working Papers

Land, Infrastructure, Housing Costs and Fiscal Impacts Associated with Growth

The Literature on the Impacts of Sprawl versus Managed Growth

Robert Burchell and David Listokin

January 1995, English

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Where? In what form? At what density? These concerns really do matter when analyzing the effects of development on land consumption, infrastructure requirements, housing costs, and fiscal impacts. Land developed at higher densities, closer in to existing development, and drawing upon already developed infrastruture or extenstions therefrom — balanced with land preserved via lower densities in less-developed areas — can provide significant capital and cost savings over traditional, sprawl-type development. This paper attempts to summarize the existing literature on development form and costs. It also provides a research methodology for looking into the issues surrounding this topic. Four areas of the impact of development form are analyzed: (1) land consumption; (2) infrastructure requirements; (3) housing costs; and (4) fiscal impacts.