Urban Sprawl in Europe: Landscapes, Land-Use Change & Policy

Urban Sprawl in Europe: Landscapes, Land-Use Change & Policy

Editor(s): Chris Couch, Lila Leontidou, Gerhard Petschel-Held

Published Online: 15 APR 2008

Print ISBN: 9781405139175

Online ISBN: 9780470692066

DOI: 10.1002/9780470692066

About this Book

Urban sprawl is one of the most important types of land-use changes currently affecting Europe. It increasingly creates major impacts on the environment (via surface sealing, emissions by transport and ecosystem fragmentation); on the social structure of an area (by segregation, lifestyle changes and neglecting urban centres); and on the economy (via distributed production, land prices, and issues of scale).


Urban Sprawl in Europe: landscapes, land-use change & policy explains the nature and dynamics of urban sprawl. The book is written in three parts. Part I considers contemporary definitions, theories and trends in European urban sprawl. In part II authors draw upon experiences from across Europe to consider urban sprawl from a number of perspectives:



  • Infrastructure-related sprawl, such as can be seen around Athens;
  • Sprawl in the post-socialist city, as typified by Warsaw, Leipzig and Ljubljana;
  • Decline and sprawl, where a comparative analysis of Liverpool and Leipzig shows that sprawl is not confined to expanding cities;
  • Sprawl based on the development of second homes as found in Sweden, Austria and elsewhere.


In part III a formal qualitative model of sprawl is developed. Policies for the control of urban sprawl and the roles of different stakeholders are considered. Finally, a concluding chapter raises questions about the nature and dynamics of these new urban landscapes and their sustainability.

Table of contents

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  1. Part I: Theory and Method

  2. Part II: Types of Urban Sprawl in Europe

  3. Part III: Models, Urban Policy and Sustainability

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