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The Sprawl of Economics

A Response to Jan Brueckner

Gerrit-Jan Knaap

June 2007, English

Under a variety of labels, smart growth has risen rapidly in popularity in the United States. The reasons for this rapid ascendance are multiple—increasing traffic congestion, rising property taxes, continued loss of farmland and open space. But a significant contributor to the growing popularity of smart growth has been the work of an active and vocal set of interest groups including Smart Growth America, The Smart Growth Network, the Congress for New Urbanism, and many others. The remarkable success of smart growth advocates, however, has not gone unnoticed by interest groups with opposing points of view. Such interest groups contend that urban sprawl is simply the result of “natural” market forces and that the remedies to sprawl offered by smart growth advocates are certain to do more harm than good. Proponents of this point of view include The Reason Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and The Thoreau Institute.


Economics, Growth Controls, Growth Management, Infrastructure, Land Market Regulation, Land Use Planning, Smart Growth, Suburban, Urban, Urban Development, Urban Sprawl