Growth Control

Some Questions for Urban Decisionmakers

by Robert A. Levine

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Control of urban growth is typically treated by local decisionmakers and citizen groups as centering around the legal and administrative tools for achieving given land use objectives. Although such tools have been around a long time, cases of successful urban growth control are rare and most existing cases are recent. This report, stemming primarily from a body of policy analysis carried out on San Jose, California, in 1971-1973, raises a series of questions that urban managers should ask in their attempts to control growth. The answers to these and similar questions should enable them to better understand the economic and political context in which their tools must be used and make it feasible to achieve more realistic goals.

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