Assessing urban growth management. The case of Portland, Oregon, the USA's largest urban growth boundary

Arthur C. Nelson, Terry Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Many states in the USA attempt to manage urban growth so that development is directed to urban areas equipped to accommodate development, and rural lands are preserved for resource and other non-urban uses. The state of Oregon is entering its third decade of what many commentators describe as the nation's most aggressive urban growth management programme administered statewide. This article reports a recent evaluation of the effectiveness of the state urban growth management policies as they are implemented by the metropolitan Portland area. The metropolitan Portland area contains the largest population, employment and land base within a single urban growth boundary in the USA. Using primary data collection and analysis, the effectiveness of the urban growth management and resource land preservation effort is assessed. Nearly all regional development has been directed to the urban growth boundary and away from resource lands. Many problems with administration are found, however. Policy implications are suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-302
Number of pages10
JournalLand Use Policy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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