|A schematic city in grey, with rivers and highways represented|
|Sprawl is usually defined as when the city's developed area increases, converting natural or agricultural land to residential, commercial or industrial uses|
|A urban growth boundary is created around the city (the red line)...|
|...future developments can only occur within the red line, thus limiting the size of the city|
|Oxford in the UK applies a green belt to its development, hence the clear cut limit between urban and rural areas and the presence of undeveloped lands between urbanized neighborhoods|
|All the green in this map is zoned agricultural and protected from development|
|The agricultural zoning of Montréal|
Criticism of the urban growth boundary
- All else being equal, construction costs tend to increase with the number of floors that are built, so taller buildings cost more per square foot to build than shorter ones, and the cost per square foot of smaller units tends to be higher than that of larger units.
- Building higher density can mean infill developments in replacement of current housing, in which case the costs of buying and destroying current buildings are added to construction costs. Infill development is much more expensive than greenfield development.