Urban Containment in the United States (PAS 520)

History, Models, and Techniques for Regional and Metropolitan Growth Management

By Arthur Nelson, Casey Dawkins

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Urban containment is most simply expressed as a line on a map separating urban and rural uses. The line may be locally identified as an urban growth boundary, urban service limit, or priority growth area. But the significance of the line resides in the mechanisms implemented to make containment work—from innovative zoning programs to infill and redevelopment, open space conversation, and ...

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Page Count
Date Published
May 1, 2004
APA Planning Advisory Service

About the Authors

Arthur Nelson

Casey Dawkins

Table of Contents


1. The objectives of urban containment

2. Urban containment framework analysis

3. Weak-restrictive urban containment framework

4. Strong-restrictive urban containment framework

5. Weak-accomodating urban containment

6. Strong-accommodating urban containment framework

7. Findings and implications for planning

Appendix A. List of references

Appendix B. Containment framework summary

Appendix C. Summary of plans reviewed

Appendix D. Key urban containment policies

Appendix E. excerpts from the American Planning Association policy guide on smart growth