Turfgrass revolution: Measuring the expansion of the American lawn

Paul Robbins, Trevor Birkenholtz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper investigates one of the most understudied components of urban sprawl, the expansion of lawn monocultures and their concomitant high-input chemical management regimes. Introducing a method for estimating lawn coverage and growth, the paper models and explains the expansion of lawns using the case of Franklin County, OH. The results suggest that lawns occupy a significant proportion of total land cover (∼23%) and that lawns continue to grow as a relative proportion of lot size. The implications of this coverage are discussed in terms of both net changes in toxic chemical inputs and the policy implications of suburban ecology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-194
Number of pages14
JournalLand Use Policy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Franklin County
  • Land use/cover change (LUCC) approach
  • Monocultural cultivation
  • OH
  • Turfgrass expansion
  • Urban ecology
  • Urban growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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