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Urbangrowthmanagementhas become acommontermtocircumscribestrategiesand toolstoregulate urban land use in metropolitan areas. It is particularly used to counteract negative impacts of urban sprawl but also to frame future urban development. We discuss recent challenges of urban growth in 6 European and 2 US American city-regions. The paper compares the urban development focusing on a quantification of drivers and effects of urban growth and a qualitative analysis of the applied urban growth management tools. We build our analysis on findings from the EU-FP6 project PLUREL. The cities have different success in dealing with urbangrowthpressure-some canaccommodate most growth in existing urban areas and densify, others expand or sprawl. Urban growth management is no guarantee to contain urban growth, but the case studies offer some innovative ways how to deal with particular challenges. Keywords: Growth management, Urban containment, Regional planning, Spatial strategies, Europe, USA, Land use change, Area efficiency, Urban sprawl Background On the background of these developments the term Around the world urban areas are growing, increasingly urban growth management has emerged in planning. consuming open space  and Europe is no exception In this paper we explore urban growth and growth from this trend . From 1990 to 2006 urban areas in management in 8 city-regions which were studied Europe grew by ca. 15000 km , an increase of urban with in the European FP6 project “PLUREL” . land of half the size of Belgium within 16 years. There The six European cases are quite distinct, rooted in is a long tradition of management of urban growth in their diverse histories : From different western plan- Europe, but just as the diversity in geography and his- ning traditions (Manchester in the UK, The Hague in tory on the continent, also the issues and challenges of The Netherlands and Copenhagen in Denmark) to new urban growth and its management vary a lot. However, planning regimes in Eastern Europe (Warsaw in as urban sprawl was recognized in the USA several de- Poland), from cities with high population growth cades ago, it is also worth while to look at how Ameri- (Montpellier in France) to regions characterised by can cities have dealt with that phenomenon and how shrinkage (Leipzig in Germany). However, urban sprawl European cities could learn from the US experience. At is an issue in all cases, and city administrations least since the late 1980s, management of urban growth recognize the need to counteract it. The two US cases, has become an important issue in the USA since the im- Seattle in Washington State and Portland in Oregon, pacts of urban sprawl on environmental sustainability, have experienced strong urban growth in recent de- quality of life and the local economy got recognized . cades and have been working with urban growth man- agement for many years. Grounds for planning are different in the USA than in Europe, e.g. regarding plan- ning responsibilities of the public sector but also settle- * Correspondence: firstname.lastname@example.org ment structure, population development and land Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, Rolighedsvej 23, 1958 Frederiksberg, Denmark resources. Still, problems such as sprawl and infrastructure Full list of author information is available at the end of the article © The Author(s). 2016 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. Fertner et al. Future Cities and Environment (2016) 2:9 Page 2 of 13 costs are similar, and good tools and instruments to in the recent years. We approach this by an explorative, tackle these are rare. A comparison of the different is- comparative case study of eight city regions, using sues and solutions across the different contexts can quantitative and qualitative methods. Key statistics provide new insights on the relation of urban growth were derived from public registers (Eurostat, US Census and planning policies. As this relation is depending on Bureau, US Bureau of Economic Analysis) and studied many factors related to the regional context, we will re- together with actual land use changes, derived from the flect on the challenges of urban growth and analyse the CORINE Land cover database  and the National different elements of urban growth management in the Land Cover Data . eight city regions. Planning (re)actions were studied by document ana- The term growth management originates from plan- lysis of plans and other written official documents sup- ning in the US in the 1970s, although the idea of con- ported by stakeholder interviews and previous research trolling urban growth to optimize land use is as old as on the respective case. We base our study on the ex- spatial planning itself. However, first with the rapid ex- tensive work done during the EU-FP6 project PLUREL pansion of cities after World War II, uncontrolled , with special focus on the following Deliverable sprawl of urban areas and the emerging paradigm of reports: sustainable development in recent decades, growth management became an explicit goal in spatial planning D2.4.1 Urban growth Management - Effectiveness in Europe and in the USA. of instruments and policies One of the longest established explicit growth man- D3.3.1-D3.3.6 Regional spatial planning and decision agement policies in the USA began with the adoption making strategies and their impact on land use in of Senate Bill 100 in Oregon in 1973, which established the urban fringe a framework for comprehensive land use planning D3.3.8 Governance patterns and performance of throughout the state . The implementation of this regional strategies in peri-urban areas bill was due to an increasing concern over the loss of D3.4.3-D3.4.8 Reports on enhanced planning agricultural and forest land to sub-urbanisation, threat- strategies and decision making for urban fringes ening local farming and the timber industry. Following including scenarios for future land use development the new legislation, state-wide planning goals were re- written, requiring all cities to adopt urban growth While the first report (D2.4.1) covers all case studies boundaries. The use of urban growth management in included in this paper, the other reports do not include the US increased during the 1990s. Still, besides Oregon Copenhagen, Seattle and Portland. In these cities the only a few other states, including Florida, Maryland, New authors undertook additional research and conducted Jersey and Washington, require or encourage growth 21 interviews with key stakeholders, including local management and only a few metropolitan areas in other politicians, planning officials on different levels and states have used such policies [8–10]. representatives from local NGOs. All reports are avail- In the European context ambitions towards manage- able on the PLUREL homepage (www.plurel.net), and ment of spatial development are present at all policy partially published in Nilsson et al. . levels from the structural and territorial cohesion polices Table 1 provides an overview of population, urban area at EU level to the national, regional and local levels. The and economic performance in the 8 city-regions. The first urban growth management policies go as far back data is hereby referring to the rural-urban region (RUR) as to 1900 when the first green belts were designated each city is located in. The RUR includes both the ‘Func- , following the garden city movement as well as the tional Urban Area’ (zone of daily commuting), and the preservation of green areas around major European cit- surrounding rural hinterland  and was elaborated in ies . Today some variety of growth management is PLUREL for the whole of Europe. For the two US cases part of a ‘standard mode of operation’ in spatial planning. we have used the Metropolitan Statistical Area as There are however large national and regional differences defined by the US Census Bureau . By aggregating regarding competences, administrative delineations, sys- the collected land use data into broad five categories tems and public interests between different parts of (urban, other, agriculture, nature and water) a rough Europe. Still, the need to control urban sprawl is widely comparison of European and US data is possible. In all accepted [13, 14]. Except for a few cities, sprawl stays a cases, urban area expanded with an annual growth general challenge in Europe [2, 15]. rate between 0.1% (Manchester-Liverpool) and 1.0% (Leipzig-Halle, including a considerable airport exten- Methods and case description sion). In the case of Seattle this meant, despite a rela- Our main interest are the different forms of urban tively low growth rate (0.4%) an additional 800 ha of growth management in Europe and the USA as applied urban land each year. Fertner et al. Future Cities and Environment (2016) 2:9 Page 3 of 13 Table 1 Population and urban area in the 8 city-regions Population Urban area GDP Case city CC Rural-Urban-Region (RUR) 2012 (pers.) 2006–2012 (annual %) 2012 (ha) 2006–2012 (annual %) 2006–2012 (annual %) The Hague NL The Hague-Rotterdam 3 552 407 0.4% 73 318 0.8% 1.3% Manchester UK Manchester-Liverpool 6 570 809 0.5% 155 898 0.1% − 0.9% Montpellier FR Montpellier 1 077 627 1.2% 39 358 0.6% 3.4% Warsaw PL Warsaw 3 258 938 0.5% 106 260 0.4% 6.9% Leipzig DE Leipzig-Halle 1 499 876 − 0.3% 66 238 1.0% 2.8% Copenhagen DK Copenhagen 1 920 263 0.8% 59 974 0.4% 2.8% Seattle, WA US Puget Sound Region 3 752 820 1.4% 208 106 0.4% 4.1% Portland, OR US Portland Metro 2 100 199 1.2% 114 877 0.2% 5.0% For the two US cases, urban area data refers to 2011 instead of 2012 The cases vary in size and population and context- Fingerplan, first developed in 1947 . It proposed a dependent issues such as historical development and future urban development of the metropolitan area of cultural values, geographic features, and political and ad- Copenhagen along five suburban railroads. The areas be- ministrative decisions taken at levels superior to the city tween should be kept free from buildings, forming green or region  are important to consider for this com- wedges and supplying the urban population with close parative perspective. We cannot study all contextual as- recreational areas. The latest version, the “Fingerplan pects in detail. However, we will discuss issues regarding 2007” is a national directive which structures the region national planning systems and local motivations which into 4 zones, each with different regulations for urban are an important basis for growth management in the development. Only in the “palm of the hand” (core area) cases. and the “fingers” urban development of regional import- Planning responses related to urban growth manage- ance is allowed. In the remaining metropolitan area only ment encompass a wide variety of policies, tools and minor developments are allowed while the green wedges goals and have been categorized in various previous stud- must be kept free from any development . ies including PLUREL (see e.g., [22–24]). We will structure The classic example for the use of an UCB in the US our review and comparative analysis of growth manage- is Portland, Oregon. The boundary was first introduced ment in the cases by the following key terms: (1) Urban in 1979, delineating urban from rural land. The regional containment visions and plans, (2) policies enhancing government is required to maintain a 20-year in- urban attraction and accommodation capacities, (3) pol- ventory of developable land within the urban growth icies supporting rural and agricultural structures, (4) boundary, which – due to the narrow delineation – is market-based tools and incentives and (5) co-ordination regularly amended . Recent analyses indicate how- between and co-operation across jurisdictions; we will ever, that if certain policy changes and investments are structure the case review by these broad categories, put in place, “it is possible to support the high range of while focusing on the relations between the drivers and demand without changing current zoning or expanding land use change and the planning policies in the discus- the [boundary]”  in the next 20 years. The Portland sion section. growth boundary is broadly accepted and even part of the city identity, much in the same way as the Finger- Growth management policies in 8 city-regions plan of Copenhagen. Containing urban land use In Washington growth management started in 1990 The main goal in many urban growth management pro- with the adoption of the Growth Management Act. grammes is the containment of urban land, i.e. the im- UCBs are constituted following the same ideas as in plementation of a containment strategy through a vision Oregon. However, differently to Portland, the Puget or a plan. This includes often zoning regulations in the Sound Region’s “Urban Growth Area” is relatively form of green belts, which are typically very tight, con- broadly defined and includes a considerable share of agri- tainment boundaries or also urban service areas, which cultural areas. The remaining area is further split into are more loose in their character . However, in practice rural areas and “Natural Resource Land”, which is spe- the differences between these three strategies are not cially protected. Some local planners perceive this line as that clear and they are often used in combination. the real containment boundary. One example of a combination of an urban contain- In Leipzig, Manchester and Montpellier urban contain- ment boundary (UCB) and a green belt is Copenhagen’s ment policies are implemented via green belt strategies, Fertner et al. Future Cities and Environment (2016) 2:9 Page 4 of 13 i.e. green areas in the surroundings of cities are protected see, but, as indicated also in Table 1, still of significant from urban growth. In Leipzig this is done since 1996 with extent. The Hague and Warsaw experienced the urban- the “Green Ring”-Strategy to preserve the cultural land- isation of several bigger patches. The urban land take in scape around the city. The cooperation between 13 mu- the other cities is less visible, but as around in Seattle of nicipalities, progressive promotion to citizens via the considerable volume, just spread in many smaller internet, partnerships with private firms and the inclu- patches. sion of recreation and cultural issues ensures a good anchorage of the strategy in the region . Opposite Enhancing urban attraction and accommodation capacities to Leipzig, Greater Manchester’s green belt policy re- A complementary strategy to mere urban containment is stricts farm diversification, landscape maintenance and the improvement of the attractiveness and quality of life rural economic activities. Its social and economic im- in the urban centres. Many cities implement or support pacts are therefore questionable, not least because of urban renewal projects and install long running pro- the effect of urban development leaping over the green grammes for deprived areas. Projects are financed by belt . public authorities often in co-operation with private In the regional plan for the agglomeration of Montpellier home-owners or investors. Also the EU is supporting (SCoT) the concept of “sight inversion” was used, meaning urban renewal, e.g. by the URBAN II programme, which that landscapes with particular qualities were defined first has a strong focus on governance and learning. In Leipzig to support their characteristics and protect them from URBAN II co-financed the greening of the urban centre. urban development – similar to a green belt policy. Combined with other revitalisation measures it should Landscape, nature and agricultural areas, considered as make the shrinkage of population less apparent and the city qualities, are the basis of the SCoT . city centre more attractive and thereby counteract urban The Hague region is located in the agglomeration sprawl. The urban centre of Leipzig is today growing in Randstad, which surrounds the Green Heart, the Dutch population and reurbanising , however, the rest of re- version of a green belt introduced in 1956 . The gion is lacking behind. Hague region itself is using a Regional Structure Plan to The huge investments in urban renewal in Copenhagen guide spatial development in the region. It is not changed the city considerably during the last three de- spatially explicit; instead, the plan coordinates and im- cades. Besides the development of the central harbour and plements a wide range of regional policies and plans. It the new district of Ørestad through designated urban de- is politically supported which is shown by the adoption velopment corporations, many districts in the city centre of joint infrastructure goals for the nine municipalities, a underwent area-based renewal programmes. The city of limitation of housing outside the city and other strategic Copenhagen is today experiencing a phase of reurbanisa- goals. The opposite of this widely integrated approach tion , though accompanied by gentrification effects in can be seen in Warsaw. Warsaw has been growing some areas . In Montpellier the inner city develop- strongly in population and even more in urban area dur- ment Antigone, finished after more than 20 years in 2000, ing the period of transition, with most growth taking also implied a symbolic revitalisation and included attract- place in suburban areas . Although demanded by ive waterfront locations. As in Copenhagen, the new dis- national law since 2003, no spatial development plan trict was connected by an effective public transport for any metropolitan area, including Warsaw, has been service to the city . developed  and the municipalities within the region Infrastructure plays an important role for urban re- mainly plan independently. A result of this is an im- newal as well as for the implementation of urban devel- menseoversupplyoflanddesignatedfor future devel- opment strategies. Many cities use infrastructure opment in the city’speriphery . projects to trigger urban development in particular The maps in Fig. 1 reveal the diversity of urban form areas (and take pressure from others). In Oregon the and urban change in the 8 city-regions. The existing principle of “transportation concurrency” demands on a urban structure is of considerable importance regarding state-wide basis, that any needed transportation infra- past and future transport infrastructure and potential structure has to be in place or secured when an area is new urban development. Copenhagen, Warsaw and also developed. In the Copenhagen region urban develop- Montpellier appear more monocentric, while The Hague, ment is closely tied to the accessibility of public trans- Manchester and partially also Leipzig have several cen- port by the so-called “station proximity principle” tres within their Rural-Urban-Region. The two US cities which restricts offices above 1500 m floor area to be are very large (see also Table 1), with especially the located within 600 m of a railroad station. Seattle-Tacoma agglomeration extending all along the Zoning and land use planning in general are common Puget Sound coast. The maps also illustrate the changes measures to influence urban form – and are much during the past few years, which are though difficult to cheaper than e.g. infrastructure development. However, Fertner et al. Future Cities and Environment (2016) 2:9 Page 5 of 13 Fig. 1 Urban areas in 2006 and new urban areas in 2011/2012 in 8 city-regions they require a great deal of law enforcement and com- depicted areas are not deprived, but relatively well mitment to be useful in growth management. Besides functioning suburban areas. The specific plans for rules for the location of certain land use, (re)zoning (e.g. densification are to be provided by the local govern- regarding density allowances) can be used to shift urban ments in dialogue with the citizens. A recent evaluation pressures. The Seattle “Urban Village Strategy”,run-  attested that 75% of all new housing sprang up in ning since 1994, proposes a polycentric development of the designated urban villages in the past 20 years. A the city whereas several existing areas were rezoned to less spatially explicit, but nevertheless strongly com- higher densities and mixed use development. Seattle mitted goal was adopted in The Hague Region. The has a great potential for densification because 65% of nine municipalities agreed to the joint objective to con- Seattle’s area is zoned as single family residential area. struct 80% of all new buildings within the existing Opposite to typical urban renewal projects, the urban fabric . Fertner et al. Future Cities and Environment (2016) 2:9 Page 6 of 13 Urban renewal projects, infrastructure upgrades and recent years, opposing a general trend of urban disper- urban design measures were traditionally not developed sion in Europe over the last decades . Also the two to hinder urban sprawl. However, in many of the cases US cases, Portland and Seattle, became denser over they are integrated in a general urban development strat- time; they also have the biggest potential due to the egy, supposing to take development pressure away from historically very low density. green fields and supporting reurbanisation tendencies. In Urban areas include not only urban cores and residen- the US the term “Smart Growth” is a typical metaphor tial areas but also commercial areas as well as transport for this way of thinking. infrastructure as ports and airports. It is therefore re- A simple indicator for this development is to look at markable that The Hague-Rotterdam, despite the port densities. Figure 2 illustrates the average number of area of Rotterdam, which serves a huge hinterland, still inhabitants per hectare urban land use in the eight has the highest density of the eight regions. But also city-regions. Densities reach from about 18 inhabi- some of the other regions have big ports or airports, es- tants/ha urban land in the two US cases up to almost pecially the two US cases. Leipzig-Halle has extended 50 in The Hague-Rotterdam. Still, looking at the devel- its airport considerably in 2008, contributing to an opment since 1990, the ratio decreased considerably in increasing urban land take despite stagnating population the region, caused by a strong increase of urban area numbers. Figure 3 compares the most recent change but only a minor increase in population. In Warsaw in urban area, population and GDP in all eight cases. and Leipzig similar effects can be observed for the Also this figure shows a trend towards densification, 1990s. However, the two cities also illustrate different at least compared to the general trend of urban dis- impacts of the transition from socialist to market econ- persion the years before, where urban land grew twice as omies. The urban sprawl around Leipzig was very fast as population in Europe and the US . However, much driven by public policy and support for home we cannot derive obvious relations between the three ownership from the early 1990s, while in Warsaw sub- indicators based on the eight cities. Still, despite of urbanisation was driven by a only slow renewal of the Manchester, economic growth seems to be an import- inner city and a later economic revitalization [6, 39]. In ant driver for urban growth in all case areas. general, despite the Leipzig-Halle case which still faces population decline, we can speak of a densification or Supporting rural and agricultural structures at least a decrease in dispersion in all cases in the most Rural areas close to urban agglomerations are consider- ably different form remote rural areas. E.g. farms may be smaller and more diversified, and full time farming and increased farm sizes is potentially rendered economically unviable at the urban fringes because the land rents are higher than production outcome . In some areas, policies go towards promoting increased farm sizes and thus competitiveness (e.g. the Netherlands), while in other cases (e.g. Denmark) the trend goes towards more “urbanized” part-time farming activities . Rural development in Europe is influenced to a great deal by the EU’s rural and agricultural policies and therefore can only be influenced to a minor degree by regional and city authorities. However, the funding is typically administered by national or regional bodies and some regions also combine the funding with other pro- grammes for rural development. The rural development plan for Greater Manchester supports agricultural activ- ities by adding value to products through the processing and diversification of the rural economy. In The Hague Region, the “Green-Blue-Service” initiative supports the creation of ecosystem services by strengthening sustain- able agriculture. Farmers get compensated for the provision of ecosystem services. The funding comes Fig. 2 Population per 1 hectare of urban land, 1990–2012 from neighbouring municipalities and even from private (in Warsaw/Poland the land use inventory was changed sources, which shows the wide awareness of having between 2000 and 2006) functioning rural areas close to towns in the region. Fertner et al. Future Cities and Environment (2016) 2:9 Page 7 of 13 Fig. 3 Annual change rate of urban area, population and GDP, 2006–2012 Activities eligible for funding include nature protection, Land Use” areas were designated which require a mini- preservation of rare livestock, historical buildings and mum lot size and a minimum income from agricultural educational activities . However, the subsidies often activities. The latter is sometimes undermined by using cannot compensate for the increase of land rents due to high value crops where a few hectares are enough for urbanisation pressures which is a real threat for farming the income while the housing unit is rent out or sold. in peri-urban areas . There are also a number of exceptions as e.g. the devel- Land use regulation in the form of zoning, subdivision opment of second homes. Exceptions are also a problem or protection acts are therefore important instruments in many other regions as e.g. in the Warsaw region the regarding the support of rural and agricultural structures local level can easily give dispensation from the land use in urban regions. Provided that the rules and plans are plans. clear and can be effectively implemented, it can prevent Figure 4 shows that agriculture is in many regions the urban development and avoid speculation on land. The main land use which was lost to urbanisation. Only land use regulation of rural land is thereby usually inte- in Seattle the majority of urbanised land was nature be- grated in an urban containment strategy. In Oregon and fore (forests, wetlands, semi-natural areas). However, Washington specific regulations were added to protect the share of nature lost annually was only 0.3% of the against urbanisation of rural land: The size of housing total nature land cover in the region, while 0.6% of the parcels in rural areas has considerably increased in re- agricultural area was lost. In this sense, agricultural cent decades, and in Oregon “Exclusively Agricultural area is still the most threatened land use type. In The Fig. 4 Annual land take for urban use in hectares, by land use type, 2006–2011/2012 Fertner et al. Future Cities and Environment (2016) 2:9 Page 8 of 13 Hague-Rotterdam nature areas experienced even a net TDR Alliance” was formed to coordinate the trade growth, while, agricultural areas were reduced by some within the whole metropolitan region. 2% with about a quarter of it going directly into urban The use of TDR is not widely spread in Europe, use, the rest of it transformed to nature or other areas. though its potentials are discussed [46, 47]. One reason ‘Other’ areas comprise in the European cases mainly re- might be that many local administrations are more ac- creation (golf courses but also summer houses), mining tively purchasing and thereby controlling land in Europe and construction sites – at least the latter would be a than in the US. E.g. in the municipality of Køge in the typical category, as also seen in Fig. 4, to be transformed southern part of the Copenhagen region, agricultural into urban areas over time. However, the percentages plots considered to be transferred to urban land use are should be taken with a grain of salt as they depend on the almost always bought by the municipality and prepared delineation of the wider region. In general, though, pure for development, before they are sold to private inves- nature areas seem to be less endangered by urban growth. tors. In the city of Copenhagen, the new metro was fi- A reason might be that agricultural areas are more domin- nanced by selling the plots in the new development area ant in proximity to urban centres than nature areas, which of Ørestad. moreover may tend to be protected. Dutch municipalities can borrow money from the na- tional government to cover the costs of land acquisition and servicing. In The Hague Region land purchasing is Market-based tools and incentives mentioned as successful strategy to prevent areas from Market-based mechanisms are often seen as having great urbanization . It implies public compulsory land pur- potential to shift development pressures and to contain chase, followed by the development of recreational func- urban growth. However, they are not widely used, often tions or leased at long term by farmers for agricultural only for particular, time-restricted projects. Nuissl et al. use. The difference between the lease price and the ac-  name three economic tools which are used to con- tual interests will be paid by the public, who instead tain growth: Taxes, subsidies and transferable develop- stays in “control” with the land. It is thus heavily based ment rights (TDR, sometimes also called transferable on public funding, and probably only viable in areas planning permits, TPP). Taxes and subsidies are usually where it is of essential public interest to protect certain subject to national legislation and are harder to employ areas of agricultural land. However, as agricultural land for a specific problem. They are however important for is very scarce in the region and important for recreation the general conditions for urban growth and the func- and ecosystem services, it is an effective policy in the tioning of the planning system. TDRs instead can be case area. But also in our two US cases land purchase applied to specific areas or regions. Among our case was used to protect natural areas . studies they are only used in the two US regions. Several other public measures can function as eco- TDRs are market-based programmes, allowing to sep- nomic incentives by changing the value or economic arate and trade the right to develop a certain piece of potentials of land, including infrastructure development land in a free-market system of willing sellers and buyers or the inclusion/exclusion of certain areas in an urban . The property receiving the development right usu- development plan. E.g. in Portland the designation of ally gains an additional allowance in built-up density, urban and rural reserves for the next 40–50 years was while the sending site will be preserved through a con- done to provide investors with a better outlook – and servation easement. Besides the income through the sale, incentives or disincentives for development. Such pol- sending site owners often also profit from a reduced icies are also related to the issue of increasing the property tax. attractiveness of the existing urban area as discussed in In Portland a few TDR programmes were designed one of the previous sections. for specific areas. Additional development in some We do not have data directly related to the impact of areas was allowed in 1991 and 1996 in return for the market-based tools and incentives. However, a related preservation of important open spaces . In a land use proxy is land fragmentation, as an expected re- current TDR programme parts of the major urban sult is a more efficient use of land. Looking at the char- greenway, the Willamette River Greenway are to be acteristics of the new urban areas established between preserved in exchange to additional building densities. 2006 and 2011/2012 in the 8 cases, we can see quite a In Seattle TDRs are used in all four metropolitan coun- different pattern between them. Table 2 shows the ties. Activity is very dependent on the general economic number of new patches and their size. As a proxy for growth, dropping to zero transfers in 2008 in King fragmentation, we calculated the number of patches County . Receiving sites usually gets a higher dens- which got established adjacent to existing urban areas ity allowance than taken from sending sites. However, which were at least the same size as the new patch (the the programme expands slowly and in 2011 a “Regional latter to include urban extensions of small rural towns). Fertner et al. Future Cities and Environment (2016) 2:9 Page 9 of 13 Table 2 Statistics on new urban patches, 2006–2011/2012 Rural-urban-region Total Total size Avg. size Patches adjacent to existing urban area Change of no. (ha) (ha) and smaller than it Shape Index (by count) (by area) Copenhagen 47 719 15.3 96% 96% .42% Leipzig-Halle 70 1582 22.6 64% 68% .89% Manchester-Liverpool 15 504 33.6 93% 78% .04% Montpellier 137 1541 11.2 87% 85% .04% The Hague-Rotterdam 117 3183 27.2 92% 94% − .25% Warsaw 125 2131 17.1 77% 81% .18% Seattle-Tacoma 1861 3985 2.1 93% 93% .50% Portland 580 1235 2.1 94% 94% − .08% We also calculated a global Shape index describing the fulfilled to carry out efficient planning and ensure a bal- perimeter of all urban areas in relation to their size. anced development: There must be a legal body with re- The index was calculated with the software tool ‘Map gional competences; there must be compliance between Comparison Kit’ . In Table 2 the change of the different levels of planning; and there must be consensus indexisshown:Thehigher theincrease, themorefrag- on a strategy and will to carry it through. mented urban areas developed. According to the Shape In most of the cases special regional administrations Index, the biggest fragmentation took place in Leipzig- exist, though in very different forms regarding repre- Halle, while The Hague-Rotterdam got a more compact sentation, purpose, competences, budget and spatial urban form. However, the changes are not very big, not coverage. Typical are associations of local authorities as least because it is a global index. “Haaglanden” in The Hague Region or the “Puget The numbers only indicate general patterns and have Sound Regional Council” (PSRC) around Seattle. In to be interpreted with caution across cases because of Manchester, after more than 20 years of voluntary asso- different base data. Furthermore, they do not tell about ciation, the “Greater Manchester Combined Authority” some case specific land use change characteristics. For was established in 2011 and from 2017 it will have an example, in the Warsaw region some of the biggest elected mayor. Some are moreover equipped with patches are new single-family housing development budget and delegated competences from the national/re- areas (e.g. 20 km south-west of Warsaw near Kozaków gional government as the “Montpellier Agglomeration” or and near Książenice) which could be defined as urban the “Regionalplanungsverband Leipzig-Westsachsen”.An- sprawl. In the Leipzig-Halle region some of the biggest other type exists in Portland, where the metropolitan new patches, which were not adjacent to cities, are new council members are directly elected. In Copenhagen the photovoltaic power stations or solar parks (e.g. south of regional authority “HUR” was abolished in 2006 and re- Brona, north and south of Roitzsch, east of Ermlitz). placed by an elected regional council which however has About 20 km east of Leipzig the solar park “Waldpolenz” only very limited resources, so regional planning in with almost 140 ha got established, though, on a former Copenhagen was moved to the national government. In airfield and therefore not included in our change statistics. the Warsaw region, where the regional authority of In the Manchester-Liverpool region, a big new patch is Mazovia is responsible to take charge of regional plan- the Daresbury Park Hotel & Spa in Warrington about ning since 2003, no steps were undertaken yet . 30 km south-west of Manchester. The small average patch Also the spatial coverage of the regional bodies is quite size in the two US cities is caused by a different mapping different. The regional bodies of urban agglomerations method of changes, where many new patches are a trans- in France (as Montpellier Agglomeration) do not always formation of former very low density areas or small exten- cover the outer part of the peri-urban areas, which are sions around the existing urban patches. therefore “out of regional control”. In rural areas, a SCoT is not to be prepared, and like in the case of urban Co-ordinating and co-operating across administrative growth boundaries in Portland and Seattle, this may lead boundaries to leap-frog development. The Rural-Urban Regions Urban growth pressures seldom stop at administrative (RUR) used for the analysis of land use changes in this boundaries. Inter-jurisdictional cooperation is therefore article, are usually far bigger than the existing regional essential in growth management . The cases and lit- bodies responsible for growth management. So the erature  show that at least three conditions must be growth management efforts might have the problem to Fertner et al. Future Cities and Environment (2016) 2:9 Page 10 of 13 go not far enough in geographic terms and thereby push compliance between the different levels of administra- development to places outside of the region. tion in our case studies. Another important issue besides the form of represen- tation and the spatial competences is budget. Especially Discussion and evaluation for the purpose of land purchase to preserve certain The relationship between pressures of urban growth areas from urbanisation, adequate financial resources are and growth management efforts essential. The regional authority of Portland co-finances The eight cases face diverse urban growth challenges its activities by the disposal of solid waste services. Just and approach them also differently. Table 3 summarizes as the PSRC in Washington, it is also the official Metro- drivers and main policy themes in the cases. In the last politan Planning Organization, which means it allocates column the major effects of urban sprawl are summa- the federal infrastructure money in the region. Further- rized, based on the indicators presented in the results more, as written in the previous section, the city funds section. As there are many contextual as well as data is- big land acquisitions by bonds. Many of the other re- sues affecting the indicators, we evaluate them only in gional bodies have a budget for the implementation of categorical terms. Following that there are three regions various activities. Often though, like in The Hague Re- which experience no or little sprawl and five which have gion, the power is based on the municipalities taking some negative development in one or more of these part in the regional co-operation. In this way the deci- indicators. sions should be anchored within the municipalities, but Manchester, Copenhagen and Portland are in the first on the other hand it might be difficult to push the group. Besides Manchester, they all experienced strong strategies in directions which some of the partners do growth in population and GDP between 2006 and 2012 not like. which put considerable urban development pressure on In all cases there are demands or expectations of com- the regions. All three have a strong focus on contain- pliance between planning levels. However, local munici- ment in their growth management and experienced a palities decide the legally binding land use plans, and in relatively low increase of urban areas. In Manchester some cases municipalities have a considerable freedom and Copenhagen, but also in The Hague, over 90% of within the regional framework – which is usually also the new urban patches were developed adjacent to exist- intended. More generally we can distinguish two issues ing bigger urban areas. The US cities reach similar relevant for growth management. The first one is the levels. This, however, has to be seen in the light of the already mentioned top-down compliance, i.e. the grade relative fragmented existing urban area (most new urban to which overall visions and plans are taken into local areas are infills) and the different basis data with other level planning. In the Warsaw region this is a big prob- mapping units. lem because the competences of the regional level are The second group, Montpellier, Warsaw, The Hague, unclear and the local level has the possibility to give Seattle and Leipzig, is quite diverse. Different combina- building permissions on demand. The other issue – tions of drivers can be found. Leipzig had the special which is supporting the first one – is the participation of situation with a shrinking population (although the the local level in the vision or strategy making process. urban centre is reurbanising), which is decreasing land A joint strategy making may improve the local levels’ and infrastructure efficiency. The focus of growth man- commitment to the regional vision considerably, though agement policies also varies more in this group and in- sometimes at the cost of a very stringent plan . Clear cludes containment, attraction and rural preservation. visions and strategies seem to be a key to successful Market-based tools and incentives are only regularly Table 3 Summary of significant drivers, policies and impacts in the eight cases, 2006–2012 Main drivers Main growth management policies Urban sprawl effects Manchester Population Containment, rural preservation, co-ordination little Copenhagen Population and conomy Containment, attraction, co-ordination little Portland Population and economy Containment, attraction, co-ordination little The Hague Economy Attraction, rural preservation, co-ordination Expansion, weak area efficiency Montpellier Population and economy Containment Expansion, small patches Warsaw Economy Co-ordination Expansion, leapfrogging on agricultural land Seattle Population and economy Containment, market incentives, co-ordination Small patches, leapfrogging on nature areas Leipzig Economy, (Population) Attraction, rural preservation Weak area efficiency, leapfrogging Relative to its own urban structure and the other cities Fertner et al. Future Cities and Environment (2016) 2:9 Page 11 of 13 applied in Seattle with a regional TDR-system. Although well as the allocation of responsibilities for spatial plan- in all of these policies the co-operation aspect is import- ning . The legal framework also includes legal plans ant, only a few actively use it in a broader perspective as from higher levels. In most of the case studies some kind e.g. The Hague with its deep co-operation between the 9 of national planning strategy exists, that regional and municipalities. local planning has to comply with. However, those are Our small sample does not assert any pattern regard- often very loose regulations, seldom spatially explicit. In ing urban growth and growth management. Neither the smaller countries though, we can see more direct in- does strong population or economic growth necessarily volvement of national planning at local level. Another lead to (relative) dispersion (Copenhagen, Portland), issue which can be very different in the cases is the insti- nor is urban growth management a guarantee to avoid tutional fragmentation. For example, Washington and it (Montpellier, Seattle). Also, urban sprawl does not Oregon both consist of several counties, which are fur- automatically trigger the establishment of strong growth ther divided into self-administered municipalities and management, even if the problems are recognized ‘unincorporated’ land, directly governed by the county. (Warsaw). On the other hand, Manchester, Copenhagen Several sector policies are often delegated to special dis- and Portland seem to successfully condemn urban disper- tricts, which are independent governmental units. The sion and their urban growth management policies can be area covered by these districts does not necessarily coin- considered making an important contribution to that. cide with other administrative boundaries, which is, to- However, further knowledge of the context is necessary to gether with the dispersed responsibilities, an obstacle for evaluate the influence of the growth management policies. comprehensive planning . Context related differences A regional driver like population increase can result in Approaches to growth management very different pressures, related to historical, geograph- The basis for growth management in most cases is some ical or cultural settings. E.g. the increase in population kind of urban containment plan or simplified vision. in Seattle, which traditionally is characterised by low Several of them only deal with few ideas and distinctions density and one-family housing, puts a different pressure – such as Copenhagen with four, Montpellier with three on land development than the same population increase and Portland even with only two categories in the plan: in Montpellier, where denser structures are more com- urban or non-urban. They are thus easy to grasp, but mon. But we can also see some ‘extreme’ disparities be- they do not deal in any detail with existing urban struc- tween average population per urban land in a city and tures or topography. This often leads to a number of most recent land consumption. For example, The amendments over the years. In Portland, for example, Hague-Rotterdam had the highest inhabitant per urban the very rigid boundary approach was now extended by area ratio of the eight cities with around 50 inhabitants a more long-term and flexible element of “urban re- per hectare in 2012. On the other end of the scale are serves”. Seattle instead implemented a very generously Seattle and Portland with 18 inhabitants per hectare (see laid out containment boundary, but tries to concen- Fig. 2). Still, looking at the incremental change, i.e. the trate growth around growth poles. One could say that ratio of new inhabitants per new urban area from 2006 Portland andSeattlehavebecome moresimilar in to 2012, The Hague-Rotterdam had a rather low 28 new their approaches in recent years, trying to find a bal- inhabitants per added urban ha 2006–2012, while in ance between flexibility vs. a boundary set in stone. Portland this was 97. This also illustrates the different The other type of growth management deals more conditions and possibilities in the regions, assuming that specifically with place related problems and priorities a city with low density like Portland has considerable like in The Hague. They are more complex and perhaps potential to densify its existing urban area, while in The more useful for prioritizing. But they are less iconic and Hague the only option is expansion, reaching limits in might rather be seen as a registration of the current terms of ‘sustainable’ levels of density . Still, in problems and values than as a vision for the future of Manchester, the number even gets as high as 304, indi- the urban region. In that case it can be more difficult to cating that much population increase must have taken gather political will and the citizens’ commitment to sup- place in renewed existing urban areas, probably taken port the plan. These are however crucial in fragmented place in former industrial areas. administrative conditions with many local authorities. In Besides these region-specific contexts, the administra- Copenhagen the early and clear vision of the principles for tive and governance system in the countries is of crucial urban development with the first Fingerplan from 1947 importance regarding conditions for and potentials of has probably stimulated a relative consensus among plan- growth management policies . This includes the legal ners and politicians of the necessity of regulating urban framework and thereby especially the planning law as development and how the city should grow. Fertner et al. Future Cities and Environment (2016) 2:9 Page 12 of 13 Regarding other policies to support the general goals, growth management – though not always depicted as supporting urban attraction are among the most used such. Copenhagen, Portland and Manchester experi- ones. Although they fulfil a lot of other goals, they enced least effects of sprawl between 2006 and 2011/ should be considered as important parts of urban 2012 despite some development pressures. They all have growth management. By making inner-cities more at- a strong focus on containment in their growth manage- tractive, these policies take pressure from the urban ment. Other cities focus on urban attraction and rural fringe. Rural policies are in particular used to preserve preservation. Market-based tools and incentives are only cultural heritage and provide recreation functions. The regularly applied in Seattle with a regional TDR system. European Structural and Agricultural Policies are im- A major issue for growth management policies in the portant sources for funding of these activities, as can be eight cases is to find a balance between a firm delinea- seen in The Hague and Manchester. tion of urban areas and a certain flexibility for future In general, we can assert that the integration of differ- development. Some cities implement therefore only ent policies is less developed in the two US cases. The general guidelines for urban growth at the regional different tools – be it a containment boundary, a TDR level, keeping some flexibility for the local level. Portland or an infrastructure establishment – have often one sin- determined urban reserves to increase the flexibility of its gle particular purpose. However, with the adoption of containment boundary. A crucial basis for that is a com- long term strategies in recent years, the two cities also mon vision for future development. Simple and iconic integrate their policies more. However, as we can also spatial visions like the green belts of Manchester and see in the European cases, integrated policies often get Leipzig or the Fingerplan in Copenhagen are possibil- very complex and difficult to evaluate in detail. ities to gain support from stakeholders and citizens, though place-specific regulations should be used to an- Conclusions chor and implement the vision locally. A policy mix of We explored urban growth in terms of land use change economic and planning policies and the right co- and the use of growth management to steer it in six operation within and between levels seems to be effect- European and two US city regions. How urban growth is ive in implementation of regional visions. manifested in each of the regions depends very much on Authors’ contributions the regional context, including historical, geographical All authors read and approved the final manuscript. or cultural factors. We discussed some of the issues re- Competing interests garding different urban form as well as the political and The authors declare that they have no competing interests. legal framework for spatial planning. More details on Author details some of the cases which go beyond this study can be Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University found in Nilsson et al. , while this paper focuses on of Copenhagen, Rolighedsvej 23, 1958 Frederiksberg, Denmark. Nordregio, Box 1658SE-111 86 Stockholm, Sweden. main tendencies across these cities. Despite local vari- ation, urban sprawl is still a major challenge for them. Received: 5 September 2016 Accepted: 14 November 2016 Some cities experience strong population or economic growth, putting a high pressure on urban development. References However, also cities with less growth are experiencing 1. 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