Key Challenges in the Implementation of Urban Growth Boundaries in Developing Countries: A Perspective from Five Countries

Authors: Pankaj Bajracharya*, University of North Carolina - Greensboro, Salima R Sultana, University of North Carolina Greensboro
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning, Urban Geography, Planning Geography
Keywords: Urban Growth Boundary, Developing Countries, Urban Growth, Urban Growth Restriction, Sustainable Growth
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual 29
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Urban Growth Boundaries have been extensively used in developed countries as a policy tool to control the rate and extent of urban expansion, but there have only been five developing countries (Albania, China, Chile, Saudi Arabia, South Africa) that have explicitly adopted the use of UGB for urban growth restriction. However, the initial implementation of UGB in these developing countries has not been as successful compared to its counterparts in the west. In this study, we have examined some of these key challenges that have considerably limited the extent of effectiveness and overall impact of UGB in these developing countries. Based on systematic multidisciplinary literature review from a wide variety of peer reviewed academic journals as well as non-academic literature, we have identified five key challenges faced by these countries during the adoption and implementation process of UGB. The five challenges namely: delineation challenges, policy and regulatory challenges, challenges due to private influences, stakeholder input challenges, and challenges of informal settlements, although not comprehensive, are reoccurring issues that have been discussed in the literature as reasons for poor performance of UGB in these countries. Considering that developing countries face a unique set of challenges as compared to developed countries, this study aims to provide an insight on these challenges based on the lessons learned from these five countries to aid in successful establishment and implementation of UGB in the developing countries in the future.

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