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An Empirical Enquiry into the Impact of Urban Planning Policy on Urban Growth

Francisco Martínez-Mora and Francisco Javier Sáez-Fernández

European Planning Studies, 2009, vol. 17, issue 5, 791-811

Abstract: Recent research has stressed the need to evaluate the economic implications of urban planning policy. In this article, we present empirical evidence on the impact of this policy on the population growth of towns and cities. A simple theoretical model serves to highlight the mechanisms whereby this policy may affect urban growth. The model yields a reduced-form equation which we estimate for the towns and cities of Andalusia (Spain). The empirical model strongly supports the claim that urban planning policy considerably affects urban growth and thus, the distribution of population across space. Our results suggest that urban planning policy is contributing to the reduction of diseconomies of agglomeration in larger cities. On the negative side, we find that urban plans are subject to obsolescence, which slows down growth.

Date: 2009
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DOI: 10.1080/09654310902778300

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