Michigan state policymakers face a conundrum. On the one hand, some citizens are
concerned about the rapid pace of modern development: They worry that continued
development will erode their quality of life, so they erect legal, political, and other
barriers to prevent others from further developing land. And on the other hand, there is
little objective evidence that Michigan is facing anything resembling a land use
The current debate over "urban sprawl" has added to the problems of
developing practical policy options by avoiding and even obscuring a meaningful discussion
of the nature, causes, and consequences of suburban development.