This paper investigates the land transformation process and growth pattern emerging in the functional Greater Dublin Area (GDA).The process is considered in the light of conventional theoretical frameworks for forms of development experienced by rapidly expanding urban areas. Aspects of neo-classical theories and models of urban land markets are considered and the growth pattern of the GDA is examined as a contribution to such debates. Particular attention is paid to the experience of the urban fringe area and planning and development perspectives on current development trends and their implications. The emergence of discontinuous patterns of development and rapidly expanding functional urban areas has been the subject of recent studies including work by the author. It is recognised that such patterns have far reaching implications in the wider environmental and economic policy context. Particular emphasis has been placed in the GDA context on the issue of development land, housing market s and landowners actions in such markets. This paper will include planning and property market perspectives on these issues. This will allow for consideration of current and proposed patterns of development and their influence on urban form. The research will include a contrast between stated policy aims, analysis of actual development data and conclusions on likely future trends. These conclusions will lead to findings on problems, opportunities and future directions in planning and development in the functional urban region.