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Beginning in the 1960s in the United States, dissatisfaction with the negative effects of urban sprawl led to an interest in growth management. Starting with the land use initiatives of a few local U.S. jurisdictions, today growth management has attained the status of a mainstream planning tool.

Definitions of growth management have changed over time, with each definition representing a different epoch and planning philosophy. The early definitions were related to emerging growth policies of the 1970s. Growth management was defined as a more effective means to time, regulate, or even halt an increase in population. During the 1990s, growth management definitions added governance, institutions, and incentives, as growth management imposed an ideological obligation on governments to establish institutional arrangements for using taxes, expenditures, and regulatory ...

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