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The term urban growth control is used to describe a broad set of growth management strategies intended to combat urban sprawl and its social and environmental consequences. For growth control advocates, it is generally the spatial expansion or “growth” of cities that necessitates “control,” not the size of its population. Urban growth control may therefore be characterized as a set of land use planning policies meant to limit the suburbanization of metropolitan areas.

The urban growth control movement in the United States is a key element of “smart growth” policies and the Livability Agenda promoted by both Bill Clinton and Al Gore. These agendas are generally interested in producing cities that are compact and dense while at the same time livable, convenient, and pedestrian-friendly. As of ...

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