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Measuring and assessing urban sprawl: What are the remaining options for future settlement development in Switzerland for 2030?


Measuring and assessing urban sprawl: What are the remaining options for future settlement development in Switzerland for 2030?

Wissen Hayek, Ulrike, Jaeger, Jochen A.G., Schwick, Christian, Jarne, Alain and Schuler, Martin (2011) Measuring and assessing urban sprawl: What are the remaining options for future settlement development in Switzerland for 2030? Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy, 4 (4). pp. 249-279. ISSN 1874-463X (print version), 1874-4621 (electronic version)

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Transformation of land use in and around European cities is proceeding as fast as never before, and urban sprawl is a reality in Europe. This process is coming along with significant landscape changes that can even lead to the loss of landscape identity. Is it possible to find indications of which regions are prone to urban sprawl in order to curtail undesired future settlement developments in time? To answer this question we used settlement development scenarios for Switzerland, and analysed their spatial implications using a set of four metrics, which allow for comparing the degree of urban sprawl in different regions. Two aspects were explored: (1) by how much settlement development could potentially increase in Switzerland, and (2) the suitability of the metrics as indicators for characterizing and assessing the development of urban sprawl. The results show that overall in Switzerland the urban permeation and dispersion of settlement areas is likely to increase (in all scenarios), but to different degrees. However, the results differ very much between the various types of settlement and between the cantons, and even a decrease in urban dispersion is possible. In combination with scenarios of settlement growth, the metrics provide useful evidence on regional characteristics such as the overall pressure of settlement development and likely transformations of the respective settlement types that should be taken into account in spatial development concepts. There is a need for calibration of the indicators on a regional level to define specific thresholds to limit urban sprawl.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Geography, Planning and Environment
Item Type:Article
Authors:Wissen Hayek, Ulrike and Jaeger, Jochen A.G. and Schwick, Christian and Jarne, Alain and Schuler, Martin
Journal or Publication:Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy
  • “Scenarios for sustainable development of the built environment in Switzerland 2005-2030” and “Degree of urban sprawl in Switzerland: Quantitative analysis 1940-2002 and implications for regional planning”
  • Swiss National Science Foundation, National Research Programme (NRP 54) “Sustainable Development of the Built Environment"
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):10.1007/s12061-010-9055-3
Keywords:urban sprawl ∙ settlement types ∙ scenarios ∙ urban permeation ∙ dispersion ∙ spatial planning
ID Code:974443
Deposited On:04 Jul 2012 14:22
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:38
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