Prices, policies, and place: What drives greenfield development?

Kevin Kane, Abigail M. York

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


While the recent global financial crisis heightened awareness of the linkages between global financial capital and urban spatial pattern, the timing of urban development – largely thought to be market driven – is not fully understood. Parcel-level studies of urban land-use change, which often use hazard models to investigate if and when development occurs, offer an opportunity to juxtapose the extent to which decisions to develop individual plots of farmland into housing are driven by market forces, the unique characteristics of the land and its intraurban location, or policies such as transportation infrastructure and municipal annexation. Using residential completion data in the Phoenix, Arizona region from 1992 to 2014, a period of dramatic commodity, fuel, and home price swings, and land cover imagery, we develop a parcel-level hazard model to gauge the relative impacts of market, policy, and place-based drivers of land change. We find limited evidence of induced development associated with freeway planning, that annexation and development are closely linked and moreso during economic booms, high fuel prices spur development in the region's core, and agricultural and urban land rents affect the timing of development. This study advances our understanding of development decision- making, policy impacts, and urban land-use change modeling and provides an empirical connection between local and global drivers of Greenfield development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-428
Number of pages14
JournalLand Use Policy
StatePublished - Nov 2017


  • Freeway planning
  • Greenfield development
  • Municipal annexation
  • Urban land-use change
  • Urban spatial structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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