Land use and development patterns are the result of a complex
interaction of demographic trends, economic circumstances, and
social attitudes. Technological advancements in areas such as
transportation and construction, and the availability and cost of
key natural resources, including land, fresh water, and energy,
also have a profound impact on urban spatial patterns.
Consequently, the determinants of urban spatial form are
dramatically different today from the forces that acted to shape
American cities in the past.
In order for land use controls to be effective, regulations on
the use of land must keep abreast of changes in the factors
affecting the demand for land. Zoning ordinances, subdivision
regulations, and building codes have drawn criticism in recent
years from land use planners, developers, environmentalists, and
others involved in or concerned with the land use planning process.
The myriad problems associated with the rapid growth and expansion
of suburbia and, more recently, of exurbia, have been answered with
traditional land regulatory mechanisms that have had only mixed
How have controls been adapted to meet the demands of
increasingly complex development patterns? How successful have
these modifications been in achieving more efficient spatial
configurations and less costly building practices? These issues are
the subject of the readings that have been gathered together by
James H. Carr and Edward E. Duensing. Beginning with factors
affecting land use demand, this volume presents an analysis of
current state-of-the-art land use controls, reviews the
shortcomings of the current land regulatory system, and suggests
certain modifications to improve urban spatial development
patterns. The concluding chapters discuss land use issues for
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