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Spatial Efficiency and Regional Prosperity: A Literature Review and Policy Discussion, Working Paper 041 Open Access

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A successful regional economy depends on the efficient and productive operation of many interacting systems, including labor and housing markets, business investment and supply processes, and other local and regional systems. An important and dynamic intermediate outcome from the interaction of these systems is the spatial organization of economic assets within a particular region, also known as the urban spatial structure, urban form, or the built environment. An empirical question remains whether and how the spatial configuration of regional economic assets contributes to economic growth. Theoretically, different spatial configurations could impose differential costs and benefits on regions for conducting economic activity, and thus could have differential impacts on economic growth. The purpose of this section is to inform practitioners regarding what we know and what we do not know about the influence of spatial organization on economic activity and regional prosperity, as well as to discuss what can be done to improve spatial efficiency and what research still needs to be conducted to inform decision-making.

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