Urban sprawl and public policy: A complexity theory perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The epistemological and methodological implications of complexity theory for understanding urban sprawl are discussed. It is argued that urban spatial forms, such as sprawl, emerge from nonlinear, self-organizational, and dynamic urban processes. Because of this, there cannot be a universal theory of sprawl and each case should be investigated within its context. The micro-macro problem provides the conceptual grounding for these investigations. Agent-based simulations can be used to investigate the micro- macro transformations in urban systems. Implications of complexity theory for understanding the role of urban policies are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalEmergence: Complexity and Organization
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Urban sprawl and public policy: A complexity theory perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this