Journal of Environmental Law & Litigation : Vol. 23, No. 1, p. 001-034 : The National Environmental Policy Act in the Urban Environment: Oxymoron or a Useful Tool to Combat the Destruction of Neighborhoods and Urban Sprawl?
Although it may seem improbable to apply NEPA in an urban environment, the law fits and performs generally well there. In fact, NEPA brings important and unique tools into the urban environment for assessing the impacts of land use changes that might otherwise escape federal review. Obstacles to NEPA’s application to these urban land use changes can be overcome, especially when cities are seen as evolving, complex systems where a change to one neighborhood’s viability can ripple outward, affecting other neighborhoods and sometimes the entire metropolitan area to its outermost boundaries and beyond.