Sprawl, Blight, & Urban Containment Policies: Evidence from U.S. Cities

This new paper by Miriam Hortas-Rico of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) is titled “Sprawl, Blight, and the Role of Urban Containment Policies: Evidence from U.S. Cities.

U.S. post‐war suburbanization has reshaped the spatial pattern of growth in many metropolitan areas, with population and employment shift toward the suburbs resulting in the urban decay of central cities. This being the case, the adoption of adequate anti‐sprawl policies should lead to a reduction in city blight.

Availability of detailed blight measures at the city level enables us to undertake a novel empirical analysis to test this hypothesis. The empirical specification presented here identifies the specific impact of more stringent anti‐sprawl policies adopted at the metro level, proxied by the adoption of urban containment policies, on city blight.

Results indicate that the adoption of such policies has effectively contributed to the reduction of downtown deterioration.

See download site.

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