Land Development: A Super-Wicked Environmental Problem

33 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2019

See all articles by Blake Hudson

Blake Hudson

University of Houston Law Center

Date Written: February 15, 2019


Land development belongs with climate change in the category of "super-wicked" environmental problems - that is, problems of extreme complexity that seem almost impossible to solve. Yet, to date, land development has not been granted that status in law and policy literature. Rather, scholars tend to study the symptoms of land development problems in isolation - dirty water, polluted air, and species loss, to name a few examples. Society must begin treating the disease of these environmental problems, and not just the symptoms. This article frames land development as a super-wicked environmental problem and details a typology of factors that make it such a difficult problem to solve. Only after understanding land development "wickedness" and what drives it can we develop more effective solutions to address it.

Keywords: Land Development, Sprawl, Environment, Natural Resources, Wicked, Climate Change

Suggested Citation

Hudson, Blake, Land Development: A Super-Wicked Environmental Problem (February 15, 2019). Arizona State Law Journal, Vol. 51, 2019. Available at SSRN:

Blake Hudson (Contact Author)

University of Houston Law Center ( email )

4604 Calhoun Road
Houston, TX 77204-6060
United States


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