Measuring Sprawl and Its Impacts: An Update

Shima Hamidi, Reid Ewing, Ilana Preuss, Alex Dodds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Across the nation, the debate over metropolitan sprawl and its impacts continues decade after decade. To elevate the debate, a decade ago, researchers developed compactness/sprawl indices for metropolitan areas and counties that have been widely used in health and other research. In this study, we develop refined compactness/sprawl indices based on definitions and procedures in earlier studies by Ewing and colleagues and validate them against transportation outcomes. The indices are being made available to researchers who wish to study the causes, costs and benefits, and solutions to sprawl and to practitioners who wish to check their community’s success in containing sprawl.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-50
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Planning Education and Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 27 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • growth management
  • transportation
  • urban form
  • urban sprawl

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Urban Studies


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