Managing Urban Growth – an Overview of the Literature


  • Stefan Siedentop
  • Stephan Schmidt
  • Alistair Dunlop



Urban growth management, regional planning, land use planning, governance , literature review


Today, most countries in the global north have developed and implemented urban growth management (UGM) programs and policies aimed at mitigating the impacts and negative externalities of urban sprawl and achieving a more compact urban form. However, there is substantial disagreement about their effectiveness and effects of these programs. In this paper, we systematically review the extensive literature on growth management to better understand a) the current state of the practice of UGM, and b) the determinants of successful UGM implementation. Compared to previously available literature syntheses, which focus heavily on North American research, we also take into account studies based in Europe and some Asian and Oceanic countries. From this literature, we identify several key factors to successful growth management implementation: a multi-level governance approach, intersectoral policy coordination, a regionally adapted mix of policy instruments, balancing development needs with preservation goals, and the ability to develop positive narratives around growth management.


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Issue publication date 2022-12-30 (version 2)
Published online first 2022-12-15 (version 1)




Research Article

How to Cite

Siedentop S, Schmidt S, Dunlop A. Managing Urban Growth – an Overview of the Literature. RuR [Internet]. 2022 Dec. 30 [cited 2024 Jul. 23];80(6):659-77. Available from:


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