Building Rules: How Local Controls Shape Community Environments and Economies

Synopsis

Urban and suburban growth is a burning local issue for communities across the United States and many other parts of the world. Concerns include protecting habitats, high costs of infrastructure, social inequalities, traffic congestion and more intangible worries about "quality of life." Citizens pressure public officials to intensify development regulations, flying in the face of local "growth machines." Builders and growth boosters oppose regulation as unfair and bad for local economies. Based on a systematic comparative study of urban areas in Southern California, this book provides a much-needed examination of the true impacts of local development controls, including the ways that they have and have not made a difference. The authors draw general implications for communities elsewhere and how to better understand theories of growth and urban governance.

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