The Price of Sprawl

What Does “Built-Out” Mean for Your Community?

“Browardization” is a term frequently used to describe what happens to a place that is overwhelmed with the consequences of over-development — traffic congestion, water shortages, school crowding, zero green space, degraded  quality of life, higher taxes, and crime. The special attributes that attracted folks to these communities are crowded out by strip malls, cluttered signs, lack of green space and landscaping. This often results in out-migration of population to other areas as people flee the negatives of over-developed communities and seek the quality of life they desire.

Do you want to let your community get completely built-out, or fight to save green space?

“Build-out” and “Built-out”

“Build-out” (with a “d”) is the population needed to fill all the housing already approved for construction but not yet built. Build-out increases as even more approvals are granted. Throughout Florida, build-out far exceeds the population projected for 2030.

“Built-out” (with a “t”) means that less than 5% of land designated for housing remains undeveloped.

Communities such as Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Pinellas County are built-out because they have little or no remaining buildable land. Twenty of 102 jurisdictions analyzed for this website are built-out. For built-out communities, no information is provided on cost projections for new road and school construction.


More information about the costs of build-out can be found on the interactive map on the Home page, and on the Taxpayer Costs page.