Urban growth boundary

Urban growth boundary

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An urban growth boundary, or UGB, is a regional boundary, set in an attempt to control urban sprawl
Urban sprawl
Urban sprawl, also known as suburban sprawl, is a multifaceted concept, which includes the spreading outwards of a city and its suburbs to its outskirts to low-density and auto-dependent development on rural land, high segregation of uses Urban sprawl, also known as suburban sprawl, is a...

 by mandating that the area inside the boundary be used for higher density urban development and the area outside be used for lower density development.

An urban growth boundary circumscribes an entire urbanized area and is used by local governments as a guide to zoning and land use decisions. If the area affected by the boundary includes multiple jurisdictions a special urban planning
Urban planning
Urban planning incorporates areas such as economics, design, ecology, sociology, geography, law, political science, and statistics to guide and ensure the orderly development of settlements and communities....

 agency may be created by the state or regional government to manage the boundary. In a rural context, the terms town boundary, village curtilage
Curtilage
The curtilage is an important legal term to define the land immediately surrounding a house or dwelling, including any closely associated buildings and structures, but excluding any associated 'open fields beyond'. It defines the boundary within which a home owner can have a reasonable expectation...

 or village envelope may be used to apply the same constraining principles. Some jurisdictions refer to the area within an urban growth boundary as an urban growth area, or UGA. While the names are different, the concept is the same. Another term used is urban service area.

UGBs and housing prices


Urban growth boundaries have come under an increasing amount of scrutiny in the past 10 years as housing prices
Real estate pricing
Real estate pricing deals with the valuation of real estate and all the standard methods of determining the price of fixed assets apply....

 have substantially risen, especially on the West Coast of the U.S. By limiting the supply of developable land, critics argue, UGBs increase the price of existing developable and already-developed land. As a result, they theorize, housing on that land becomes more expensive. In Portland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Portland is a city located in the Pacific Northwest, near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 Census, it had a population of 583,776, making it the 29th most populous city in the United States...

, for example, the housing boom of the previous four years drove the growth-management authority
Metro (Oregon regional government)
Metro, formerly known as Metropolitan Service District, is the regional governmental agency for the Oregon portion of the Portland metropolitan area...

 to substantially increase the UGB in 2004. While some point to affordability for this action, in reality it was in response to Oregon State law. By law, Metro, the regional government, is required to maintain a 20-year supply of land within the boundary. Even with the addition of several thousand acres (several km²) housing prices continued to rise at record-matching paces. Supporters of UGBs point out that Portland's housing market is still more affordable than other West Coast cities, and housing prices have increased across the country.

Albania


Albania
Albania
Albania , officially known as the Republic of Albania , is a country in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea...

 maintains the 'yellow line' system hailing from its Socialist Regime - limiting urban development beyond a designated boundary for all municipalities.

United States



The U.S.
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 states of Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

, Washington and Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

 require cities to establish urban growth boundaries. California requires each county to have a Local Agency Formation Commission
Local Agency Formation Commission
A Local Agency Formation Commission is one of several decision making government entities in California with the responsibility to decide boundary issues pertaining to city and county lands, including spheres of influence, and issues about the annexation of county lands into a city or special...

, which sets urban growth boundaries for each city and town in the county. However, in states such as Tennessee the boundaries are not used to control growth but rather to define long-term city boundaries. States such as Texas use the delineation of Extra Territorial Jurisdictional boundaries to map out future city growth with the idea of minimizing competitive annexations rather than controlling growth. Notable U.S. cities which have adopted UGBs include Portland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Portland is a city located in the Pacific Northwest, near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 Census, it had a population of 583,776, making it the 29th most populous city in the United States...

; Boulder, Colorado
Boulder, Colorado
Boulder is the county seat and most populous city of Boulder County and the 11th most populous city in the U.S. state of Colorado. Boulder is located at the base of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of...

; Virginia Beach, Virginia; Lexington, Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky
Lexington is the second-largest city in Kentucky and the 63rd largest in the US. Known as the "Thoroughbred City" and the "Horse Capital of the World", it is located in the heart of Kentucky's Bluegrass region...

; and San Jose, California
San Jose, California
San Jose is the third-largest city in California, the tenth-largest in the U.S., and the county seat of Santa Clara County which is located at the southern end of San Francisco Bay...

. Urban growth boundaries also exist in Miami-Dade County, Florida
Miami-Dade County, Florida
Miami-Dade County is a county located in the southeastern part of the state of Florida. As of 2010 U.S. Census, the county had a population of 2,496,435, making it the most populous county in Florida and the eighth-most populous county in the United States...

 and the Twin Cities of Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

. Portland, Oregon is required to have an urban growth boundary which contains at least 20000 acres (80.9 km²) of vacant land. Additionally, Oregon restricts the development of farmland. The regulations are controversial, but an economic analysis concluded that farmland appreciated similarly to the other land.

Canada


In Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, Vancouver
Vancouver
Vancouver is a coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. It is the hub of Greater Vancouver, which, with over 2.3 million residents, is the third most populous metropolitan area in the country,...

, Toronto
Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

, Ottawa
Ottawa
Ottawa is the capital of Canada, the second largest city in the Province of Ontario, and the fourth largest city in the country. The city is located on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of Southern Ontario...

 (the "Greenbelt
Greenbelt (Ottawa)
The Greenbelt is a crescent of land within the present-day boundaries of the city of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, in which real estate development is strictly controlled. It begins at Shirleys Bay in the west and extends to Green's Creek in the east...

") and Waterloo, Ontario
Waterloo, Ontario
Waterloo is a city in Southern Ontario, Canada. It is the smallest of the three cities in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, and is adjacent to the city of Kitchener....

 have boundaries to restrict growth and preserve greenspace. They are notably absent from cities such as Calgary
Calgary
Calgary is a city in the Province of Alberta, Canada. It is located in the south of the province, in an area of foothills and prairie, approximately east of the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies...

, Edmonton
Edmonton
Edmonton is the capital of the Canadian province of Alberta and is the province's second-largest city. Edmonton is located on the North Saskatchewan River and is the centre of the Edmonton Capital Region, which is surrounded by the central region of the province.The city and its census...

, and Winnipeg
Winnipeg
Winnipeg is the capital and largest city of Manitoba, Canada, and is the primary municipality of the Winnipeg Capital Region, with more than half of Manitoba's population. It is located near the longitudinal centre of North America, at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers .The name...

 that lie on flat plains and have expanded outwardly on former agricultural land.

United Kingdom


Controls to constrain the area of urban development existed in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 as early as the 16th century. In the middle of the 20th century the countryside abutting the London conurbation was protected by the Metropolitan Green Belt
Metropolitan Green Belt
The Metropolitan Green Belt is a statutory green belt around London, England. It includes designated parts of Greater London and the surrounding counties of Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent and Surrey in the South East and East of England regions.-History:The...

. Further green belts were then created around other urban areas in the United Kingdom.

Australia


After the release of Melbourne 2030
Melbourne 2030
The Metropolitan Strategy Melbourne 2030 is a Victorian Government strategic planning policy framework for the metropolitan area of Greater Melbourne, intended to cover the period 2001-2030. During this period the population of the metropolitan area is expected to grow by a million people to over 5...

 in 2001, the state government legislated growth boundaries to limit urban sprawl
Urban sprawl
Urban sprawl, also known as suburban sprawl, is a multifaceted concept, which includes the spreading outwards of a city and its suburbs to its outskirts to low-density and auto-dependent development on rural land, high segregation of uses Urban sprawl, also known as suburban sprawl, is a...

. Since then, the urban growth boundary has been significantly increased a number of times and a further extension is currently proposed.

South Africa


An Integrated Development Plan is required in terms of Chapter 5 of the national Municipal Systems Act No 32 of 2000 for all local authorities in South Africa. This plan would as one of it components include a Spatial Development Framework plan which would normally, certainly for the larger metropolitan areas, indicate an Urban Edge beyond which urban type development would be severely limited or restricted. The concept was introduced in the 1970s by the Natal Town and Regional Planning Commission of the Province of Natal (now known as KwaZulu-Natal
KwaZulu-Natal
KwaZulu-Natal is a province of South Africa. Prior to 1994, the territory now known as KwaZulu-Natal was made up of the province of Natal and the homeland of KwaZulu....

) in the regional guide plans for Durban
Durban
Durban is the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal and the third largest city in South Africa. It forms part of the eThekwini metropolitan municipality. Durban is famous for being the busiest port in South Africa. It is also seen as one of the major centres of tourism...

 and Pietermaritzburg
Pietermaritzburg
Pietermaritzburg is the capital and second largest city in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It was founded in 1838, and is currently governed by the Msunduzi Local Municipality. Its "purist" Zulu name is umGungundlovu, and this is the name used for the district municipality...

. The concept was at that stage termed an Urban Fence.

See also

  • Green belt
    Green belt
    A green belt or greenbelt is a policy and land use designation used in land use planning to retain areas of largely undeveloped, wild, or agricultural land surrounding or neighbouring urban areas. Similar concepts are greenways or green wedges which have a linear character and may run through an...

  • Land use planning
    Land use planning
    Land-use planning is the term used for a branch of public policy encompassing various disciplines which seek to order and regulate land use in an efficient and ethical way, thus preventing land-use conflicts. Governments use land-use planning to manage the development of land within their...

  • Community separator
    Community separator
    In urban planning in the United States, a community separator is a parcel of undeveloped land, sometimes in the form of open space, separating two or more urban areas under different municipal jurisdictions which has been designated to provide a permanent low-density area preserving the communal...

  • Urban rural fringe
    Urban Rural Fringe
    The rural–urban fringe, also known as the outskirts or the urban hinterland, can be described as the "landscape interface between town and country", or also as the transition zone where urban and rural uses mix and often clash...

  • Urban open space
    Urban open space
    In land use planning, urban open space is open space areas for “parks”, “green spaces”, and other open areas. The landscape of urban open spaces can range from playing fields to highly maintained environments to relatively natural landscapes. They are commonly open to public access, however, urban...

  • Urban sprawl
    Urban sprawl
    Urban sprawl, also known as suburban sprawl, is a multifaceted concept, which includes the spreading outwards of a city and its suburbs to its outskirts to low-density and auto-dependent development on rural land, high segregation of uses Urban sprawl, also known as suburban sprawl, is a...

  • Prime farmland
    Prime farmland
    Prime farmland is a designation assigned by U.S. Department of Agriculture defining land that has the best combination of physical and chemical characteristics for producing food, feed, forage, fiber, and oilseed crops and is also available for these land uses....


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