Urbanization is arguably one of the most pervasive socioeconomic forces affecting economic development, ecosystem health, and humana well-being. This paper analyzes the interaction between urbanization, economic development, and environmental quality and provides an overview of the literature on the interaction. We argue that the complex roles of urbanization in the economic and ecological systems necessitate a new policy approach to urbanization management. This paper also provides a brief overview of land use policies at local, regional and national levels in the European Union and the United States and discusses policy options for urbanization management. It concludes with a brief discussion of policy challenges and research needs for efficient urbanization management.