Rethinking Urban Sprawl

Moving Towards Sustainable Cities

This report provides a new perspective to the nature of urban sprawl and its causes and environmental, social and economic consequences. This perspective, which is based on the multi-dimensionality of urban sprawl, sets the foundations for the construction of new indicators to measure the various facets of urban sprawl. The report uses new datasets to compute these indicators for more than 1100 urban areas in 29 OECD countries over the period 1990-2014. It then relies on cross-city, country-level and cross-country analyses of these indicators to provide insights into the current situation and evolution of urban sprawl in OECD cities. In addition, the report offers a critical assessment of the causes and consequences of urban sprawl and discusses policy options to steer urban development to more environmentally sustainable forms.

Published on June 14, 2018


Executive summary
The policy challenge of urban sprawl
Urban Sprawl – Definition and measurement2 chapters available
Urban sprawl as a multidimensional phenomenon
Sprawl in OECD urban areas
Consequences of urban sprawl and implications for policy makers2 chapters available
Causes and consequences of urban sprawl
Steering urban development to more sustainable pathways
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