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Growth at the fringe: The influence of political fragmentation in United States metropolitan areas

  • John Carruthers

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    Urban sprawl has evolved into an exceptionally complex public policy problem in the United States over the course of recent decades. One factor that has made it particularly difficult to deal with is its relationship to the fragmented structure of the American system of land use governance. Acting on behalf of their residents, local governments enact land use regulations to secure lifestyle preferences for low density, suburban living environments while at the same time ensuring a high quality of public service provision. This article examines the effect of this process on metropolitan spatial structure through a series of econometric models designed to test the following hypothesis: that fragmentation promotes sprawl by increasing the proportion of growth that occurs at the unincorporated urban fringe. The estimation results reveal substantive evidence that municipal fragmentation and several related factors - including special districts, infrastructure investments, and white flight processes - have a significant and enduring effect on the growth of outlying areas. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg 2003

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    Article provided by Springer in its journal Papers in Regional Science.

    Volume (Year): 82 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 4 (November)
    Pages: 475-499

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:presci:v:82:y:2003:i:4:p:475-499
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