The first part is a review of literature, research and projects since
around 1940, which concentrates on the American and British experience.
The logic for this is based on the casual but informed observation that
urban sprawl has to date been a peculiarly British and American phenomenon,
particularly due, we think, to the relatively lower density of cities
in both Britain and America and to the notion that home-ownership with
a garden are core values of the Anglo-Saxon heritage.
In contrast the second part of our review is from the continental European
perspective in which the conditions for urban growth have only very recently
begun to mirror those in Britain and North America. Towns in Europe have
tended to remain more compact with higher densities and more uniform densities
while sprawl in so far as it can be recognised in visual terms is much
more due to the merging of distinct urban settlements as conurbations
or to use the more current jargon, as polynucleated clusters.
Finally, in the third part, we deal briefly with measures of urban growth and sprawl. From the literature we have identified several key measures and we present a preliminary typology of measures below. However many of the measures will be informed by later workpackages, particularly WP3 which involves statistical analysis of the features and effects of sprawl.