On November 4, the third session of the Urban Expansion webinar series, “The Containment of Urban Expansion,” was co-hosted with Buildings and Cities. Director of Urban Expansion, Solly Angel, joined a panel that examined efforts to contain urban expansion, through several case studies. Angel noted:
I have looked at the containment of urban expansion, as it is preached and practiced, and I have found it wanting, especially when it is attempted in rapidly growing cities in less developed countries, where more than 90% of urbanization is now taking place. Many city governments in these countries are simply too weak to practice effective containment in the face of overwhelming demand for land on the urban fringe of cities, by both formal and informal developers. Containment is most likely to fail. Where strict containment has been successful, and we will hear more about it from our panelists, we see two problematic outcomes. First, once the contained area is largely filled, we typically witness a rapid increase in land prices and a subsequent affordability crisis. Containment is now seen by more and more people as excluding them from the cities that they would like to live and work in but cannot afford to, because of housing-supply bottlenecks that result in exorbitant house-price inflation.