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Working Paper
Cities
Miriam Hortas Rico

2013/02 : Sprawl, blight and the role of urban containment policies. Evidence from US cities

US post-war suburbanization has reshaped the spatial pattern of growth in many metropolitan areas, with population and employment shift toward the suburbs resulting in the urban decay of central cities. This being the case, the adoption of adequate anti-sprawl policies should lead to a reduction in city blight. Availability of detailed blight measures at the city level enables us to undertake a novel empirical analysis to test this hypothesis. The empirical specification presented here identifies the specific impact of more stringent anti-sprawl policies adopted at the metro-level, proxied by the adoption of urban containment policies, on city blight. Results indicate that the adoption of such policies have effectively contributed to the reduction of downtown deterioration.



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