AdvisorEsparza, Adrian X.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractTraditional explanations of suburbanization in the United States focus on spatial mobility, consumer demand, federal policies, and deteriorating quality of life in central cities. Other, more recent, explanations associate suburbanization with market failures. These two paths of explanation, however, fail to acknowledge the role of growth control and management as factors fueling the outward extension of metropolitan regions. Growth control and management emerged in the 1970s as a way of tackling the costs of suburbanization, but they were not applied consistently across metropolitan regions. Instead, their use was determined locally in most cases, which led to a patch-work pattern of growth control in metropolitan regions. This pattern, in turn, fueled "spillovers," where the imposition of growth control measures in suburban communities led homebuilders and residents to seek other suburban communities with no, or less stringent, growth controls. Although several scholars acknowledge the presence of spillovers, few have studied them directly. This dissertation investigates the spillovers generated by the price effects of local growth controls, as a mechanism underlying U.S. suburbanization. Using spatial econometric modeling as well as statistical and GIS map-based analyses, the dissertation targets the State of California and, specifically, the state's major metropolitan regions--Los Angeles and San Francisco--from the mid-1970s to the early 1990s. First, the study analyzes the price effects of growth controls in California, focusing on their impacts on local housing construction. The analysis finds that restrictive residential zoning, as a control suppressing permitted residential densities, has the effect of restricting housing construction. However, in contrast to expectation, urban growth boundaries accommodate homebuilding rather than constraining it, and population growth or housing permit caps and adequate public facility ordinances have no significant effects. Second, the study develops an index of spillovers, and categorizes localities of California as spillover origins or destinations with the index values. The index is based on a quasi-experimental approach that uses a temporal control and a model of local homebuilding. Third, I discuss the outward progression of spillovers given diffusion of growth controls in the politically fragmented metropolitan regions of California. For this, my dissertation explores the spatial distribution of spillover origins and destinations and investigates the relationship to local growth controls, especially at the metropolitan scale. The discussion provides a likely picture of suburbanization: in metropolitan regions growth controls spread to produce clusters of spillover origins at core areas, and this diffusion promotes spillovers to progress beyond the clusters towards outlying areas, thereby reinforcing suburbanization.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Geography and Regional Development