Measuring urbanism: Issues in smart growth research

Emily Talen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


This paper explores the measurement issues that arise in conducting smart growth research. Such research is largely dependent on the quantitative measurement of urban and suburban phenomena, but this measurement varies widely. Data sources, geographic scales, aggregation rules, and spatial resolution can all vary, and all have a significant effect on research outcomes. The paper presents an overview of the issues involved in urban measurement, exploring three interrelated aspects of urban study-the measurement, evaluation, and representation of urban form. The paper presents a framework of the conceptual differences and practical implications. This serves as background to a call for new measurement approaches that would more appropriately reflect the material aspects of cities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-215
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Urban Design
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Urban Studies


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