USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development


The Economic Effects of Arizona's Proposed Citizen's Growth Management Initiative

Arizona is among the most rapidly growing states in the nation. Through a combination of indigenous population growth and steady in-migration (as Americans continue to move into the Sunbelt), Arizona has added 1.15 million citizens since 1990. Arizona’s many advantages have made it one of the fast-growing western and mountain states (i.e. Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Colorado and Arizona). Not surprisingly, rapid growth has prompted a vigorous debate on how best to accommodate the changes occurring in many Arizona communities. In the last two years, the Arizona Legislature has passed two statewide growth management acts. At the same time, discussion at the local level has produced a host of local planning and land use ordinances. Most of the discussion has sought to balance the competing priorities of growth control, economic opportunity and sensible planning. The CGMI is a departure from this more measured dialogue on growth. Our analysis shows that the CGMI would impose significant costs on Arizona citizens while yielding few if any of the benefits its proponents advertise..

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    Peter Gordon is a Professor in USC's School of Policy, Planning, and Development and in the Department of Economics. He is also currently Director of USC's Master of Real Estate Development program. Gordon's research interests are in applied urban economics. In a paper published in 1982, Gordon predicted Portland Light-Rail’s 1990 ridership to within two-tenths of one percent accuracy; the official agency forecast was off by 115 percent. Gordon is the co-editor of PLANNING AND MARKETS, an all electronic refereed journal (www – Gordon and his colleagues have developed the Southern California Planning Model (SCPM) which they are now using to calculate the economic costs of major earthquakes and other natural disasters. Peter Gordon has published in most of the major urban planning, urban transportation and urban economics journals. He has consulted for local, state and federal agencies, the World Bank, the United Nations and many private groups. He received the PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1971.

    Harry W. Richardson is the Irvine Chair of Urban and Regional Planning in the School of Policy, Planning, and Development at the University of Southern California. His research fields include metropolitan spatial structure, travel behavior, land use controls, economic impact models, natural disasters, and international urban development. He is the author of more than 20 books and more than 150 research papers. He has consulted for the World Bank, the United Nations, US AID, and other international, national and local agencies.

    DongHwan An, Ph.D. student, is a Research Assistant for the School of Policy, Planning and Development at the University of Southern California. His interests are in the areas of productivity analysis of regional economies and regional economic modeling. In addition, Dr An already has a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Seoul National University.

    Thomas O'Brien, Ph.D. Candidate, is a Research Associate for the School of Policy, Planning and Development at the University of Southern California. His work focuses on the areas of transportation, telecommunications and international development, and on the effectiveness of multi-jurisdictional coordination in urban service delivery. Recent projects include a study on the feasibility of establishing independent transit zones in Los Angeles County and the evaluation of a technology-based transit integration program for the California Department of Transportation. Mr. O'Brien is a 1995 Fulbright Scholar and a 2000 Eno Transportation Scholar.

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School of Policy, Planning, and Development
University of Southern California
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