WorkPackage 5

Limiting Urban Sprawl

Typology: RTD Leader: Aleksandar Slaev


This shows the workload for workpackage 5 in the course of the 5 years of the project.

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

What’s new in WP5?

What effect does urban sprawl have on the resilience of urban communities? WP5 seeks to improve understanding of urban growth and to propose regulations, recommendations and guidelines on managing urban sprawl. This would see the compact city approach being favoured leading to a reduction in transport and energy costs, whilst retaining green belt and natural areas, while limiting the negative effects of densification. To date, the complex analytical phase of WP5 has been completed. Though further research in respective areas will be carried out during the next 18 months, one of the main findings has been that the scale of urban sprawl in the Eastern European cities that were studied is lesser than that of similar cities in Western Europe. However, this trend is steadily changing with a turn towards sprawl in Eastern European cities. As a consequence of the work in WP5, TURAS research and modeling has been accepted by the planning authorities in the city of Sofia, and has resulted in new policies being discussed and formulated.


  • Explore the effects of societal transformation on the process of suburbanisation and planning practices with particular attention to attitudinal cleavages with regard to compact vs. dispersed development;
  • Apply the model for Monitoring Urban Land Cover Dynamics (MOLAND)to better understand the factors that determine the urban development pattern at the urban periphery;
  • Based on this improved understanding, the key objective of WP5 is to propose regulations and guidance tools which will be implemented by local governments during the lifetime of the project to address the problems of urban sprawl in their respective cities;
  • The final objective is to develop appropriate monitoring and assessment tools –ex ante and ex post policy evaluations, criteria and indicators – for tracking urban development trends and patterns and to build recommendations and guidelines on managing urban sprawl which will be demonstrated in the other participating cities of the TURaS project network and in a wider European context.

Description of work and role of partners

Overall WP Leader: Prof. Alexander Slaev, Varna Free University

T5.1 Kick-off Meeting
Leading partner: Varna Free University (VFU) Partners involved: All partners in WP5

All partners involved in this WP will meet in order to discuss how this WP fits within the overall project framework, to agree on the final deliverables and outcomes of the WP, the role of all participants, WP co-ordination plans (bi-monthly conference calls, meetings etc), reporting requirements and the work plan for the first year of the project. Synergies with other WPs will be discussed and connections established from the outset. The kick off meeting of this WP will be organised immediately after the overall consortium kick-off meeting.

T5.2 Survey of city residents preferences, attitudes and motives
Leading partners: La Sapienza, City of Rome, Partners involved: IAUS, Varna Free University (VFU)

Building on the initial data emerging from WP1, the goal of this survey will be to study in more detail the underlying preferences and attitudes of city residents in order to understand their motives and the reasons for specific residential choices. In the case of Belgrade this is likely to be related to the process of post-communist transition; in the case of Rome it is the aspirations linked to the country’s movement toward advanced consumer society.

T5.3 Survey of planning documents (IAUS)
Leading partners: VFU, IAUS; Partners involved: La Sapienza, City of Rome

Two groups of planning document will be studied for each of the participating cities:

  • relevant legislation, regulations, norms – national and local
  • regional and local planning strategies, master plans and zoning concerning the investigated cities currently operating (in force)

In order to evaluate the impact of those planning documents it is essential to analyse the effect of each piece of legislation and each plan or strategy on its own and, then, in complex and to assess eventual contradictions between standards, norms, goals of strategies, planning objectives, etc.

T5.4 Application of MOLAND information technology
Leading partners: IAUS, La Sapienza; Partners involved: VFU, City of Rome

The goal is to study urban growth by MOLAND means of analysis in order to understand and to predict future factors and the trends of urban development in terms of land use changes, development and population densities with regard, particularly, to an overall effect of urban expansion.

T5.5 Market Analysis
Leading partner: VFU; Partners involved: IAUS, La Sapienza, City of Rome

  • Supply of land – availability, ownership and cost in the centres of compact urban territories and in the peripheral areas – open territories and in potential nodes of development
  • Demand for land – forecasted growth of population, trends, forecasted changes in prevailing urban forms and densities
  • Market process - land transaction and development process. Assessment of the rates of market development. Specific market meaning of preferences and attitudes of the population; meaning of planning regulations and their effect on the market process.

T5.6 Study of the role and efficiency of nodes in a polycentric urban system
Leading partner: City of Rome; Partners involved: La Sapienza, VFU, IAUS, LjubU

  • Study of the main aspect of nodes’ efficiency – shortening commuting distances by matching jobs to residence
  • Study aimed at evaluating potential benefits and impact on urban ecological footprint of the Municipality of Rome’s offices decentralising.
  • The University of Ljubljana who are leading research into climate neutral transport infrastructure will contribute expertise to this research and impact assessment and draw conclusions in terms of potential impact of decentralisation for other urban centres.

T5.7 Preparation of planning and development regulations concerning peripheral territories
Leading partner: VFU; Partners involved: La Sapienza, City of Rome, IAUS

Based on the conclusions of the survey of planning documents and market analysis conducted, also with regard to the results of the application of the MOLAND information technology and the results of the survey of city residents preferences, attitudes and motives planning and development regulations will be developed for the peripheral territories of the investigated cities. These regulations will concern physical dimensions and development factors, but also rules and requirements to form the framework of urban processes providing compactness and resilience of urban forms. The preparations of the regulations will start as early as the first results of the analyses of the current situation and current processes are obtained. Analyses and the preparation of the regulations will overlap for the rest of the project period since the development of an initial system of regulations will only start the process of implementation, but once feed-back is provided (T5.9) regulations will be further developed and improved.

T5.8 Development of monitoring and assessment tools
Leading partner: VFU; Partners involved: La Sapienza, City of Rome, IAUS

  • Identification of quantitative indicators to monitor urban growth and to assess the effect of the proposed planning regulations. Those will be mainly two types of factors – 1) physical indicators • concerning land consumption, land uses, densities, etc., and 2) market indicators, such as land and property prices, supply of and demand for land and built-up spaces
  • Development of a system of indicators to predict and to monitor the effects on daily trips of citizens to reach workplaces and back to home, on CO2 and pollutants saving, on traffic congestion, on social benefits like time saving, more intensive use of quarter services and higher attention towards its own neighbourhood

T5.9 Evaluation of short-term (first) results and further development of the system of regulations
Leading partners: La Sapienza, IAUS; Partners involved: VFU, City of Rome; LjubU

The evaluation of short-term (first) results is meant to provide the back-feed input that will allow for corrections and fine-tuning of the regulation system. This is also an approach that is crucially important to turn the system of regulations into an operational tool to manage urban growth. Regulations can be tailored for the specific purposes of urban policy – in this case limiting disperse urban expansion – only if tested in practice and adjusted based on the evidence of their actual effect. In this aspect the system of indicators and assessment tools will serve as the base to identify what corrections are needed.

WP5.10 Recommendations and guidelines on limiting urban sprawl in other cities
Leading partner: IAUS; Partners involved: La Sapienza, VFU, City of Rome, Stuttgart, LjubU

The final objective is to develop appropriate monitoring and assessment tools –ex ante and ex post policy evaluations, criteria and indicators – for tracking urban development trends and patterns and to build recommendations and guidelines on managing urban sprawl which will be demonstrated in the other participating cities of the TURaS project network and in a wider European context – measurement of the results and input to transition strategy.


Id Limiting Urban Sprawl
M5.27 Delivery of framework and tools for market analysis of the preferences and the trends in market demand and supply of peripheral land suitable for disperse/ compact/ polycentric type urban development
Guidelines published
Expected by: M12
M5.28 Completed analytical phase of the WP – surveys of the preferences of the population, of the legal and normative framework and market analysis
Survey complete and data quality validated
Expected by: M18
M5.29 Development and testing of new regulations in each participating partner city tailored to limit disperse urban growth and promote resilient compact or polycentric urban forms
Guidelines published
Expected by: M18
M5.30 Partners’ evaluation of the systems of regulations prepared for each participating city
Evaluation completed
Expected by: M24
M5.31 Monitoring and assessment of results (based on the MOLAND technology) to investigate changes in the preferences of the population, urban market trends and urban resilience in participating cities
Expected by: M36
M5.32 MOLAND analysis of the results of the application of the regulations developed in the course of the project form M24 to M48
Analysis completed
Expected by: M52


Id Limiting Urban Sprawl
D5.6 Report on market equilibrium relating to urban resilience: Recommendations on limiting urban sprawl for other participating TURaS partner cities and in a wider European context
Expected by: M36