Urban Sprawl in the Springfield, Missouri Msa: Supply and Demand Factors of Growth

Date of Graduation

Summer 2001


Master of Science in Geospatial Sciences


Geography, Geology, and Planning

Committee Chair

Dimitri Ioannides


Changes in planning and zoning regulations, methods of home lending and finance, and the influence of realtors and developers are among the contributing factors to urban sprawl. This study focuses on those issues as they have led to the acceleration of sprawl in the Springfield Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) in Southwest Missouri. The objective of this study is to determine how, and to what extent, growth has been influenced by these factors or agents in this region. It is understood that these are not the only contributors to urban sprawl. The Springfield MSA was chosen for study because it is located in an area that has experienced rapid growth. The method of study involves research and analysis of population density changes from 1950 and 2000, analysis of single-family residential building permits for the MSA for the past decade, and surveys of mortgage lenders, realtors and developers. Survey information is supplemented with trend and relationship information cited in the literature. The expected results will include the extent of influence from these studied industries, and provide insight to what possible changes can be made to prevent or reduce sprawl in other communities experiencing rapid growth. Future work on this topic could involve the study of the socio-economic effects of sprawl on communities.

Subject Categories

Urban Studies | Urban Studies and Planning


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