An International Survey of Urban Sprawl Case Studies


Correspondence address: Annette Stomp, Chôros Laboratory, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland. E-mail:


Urban sprawl is a growth pattern causing much interest and concern and, in consequence, has been a topic of growing interest to a wide body of researchers from many different disciplinary backgrounds. The past 15 years has seen a veritable flourish of intensive empirical case studies devoted to various aspects of this phenomenon and coming from an increasing variety of countries. In an effort to understand the latest currents in empirical research on urban sprawl, the author conducted a thorough review of case studies since 1996, seeking to highlight new findings among the various themes addressed in the research. They revealed a great number of case studies on urban sprawl emerging from China, many case studies devoted to measuring urban sprawl, as well as throwing into question the widely held assumption that sprawl is always driven by population and economic growth.