Ives CD and C Maller (2013) Growing out versus filling in: how about we all grow up? THE CONVERSATION 3 May 2013

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This article argues that the debate over whether it is more sustainable to accommodate growing urban populations by increase density or expanding city fringes is unhelpful and unproductive. We explore a number of elements of city sustainability (food production, energy use, biodiversity conservation, human health) to show that high and low density development can have both positive and negative implications. We argue that there is a need to take a more sophisticated approach to urban planning that is grounded in real sustainability objectives and moves beyond the false dichotomy between urban expansion and urban densification.