Land use institutions in an urbanizing landscape
Development of land use can be controlled through public means such zoning or through private agreements such as property owners' associations, conservation easements and contracts. This dissertation investigates land use institutions in an urbanizing landscape, specifically zoning's impact on land use change and fragmentation, citizen led monitoring of neighborhood zoning violations, alternatives to zoning, and entrepreneurial citizens' development of alternative land use institutions.
In order to assess the impact of land use institutions in an urbanizing environment, I use multiple methods including an institutional analysis that provides the context for understanding the interrelationships between bureaucrats, politicians, and the citizenry. Statistical analyses uncover the relationship between zoning and land cover change and forest fragmentation. A game theoretic study highlights conditions to expect zoning compliance, especially when GIS reduces information costs. An institutional analysis and agent-based model explore the creation of alternative land use institutions.
Five conclusions are derived from this study. First, zoning is driving some conversion of land to urban uses, although this may be due to the types of zoning rules that are adopted. Second, zoning could be used more effectively to reduce forest fragmentation. Third, adoption of online GIS technology could improve zoning enforcement through a reduction in citizen monitoring costs. Fourth, viable alternatives to zoning exist for openspace preservation and cooperative management. Finally, government insensitivity and changing citizen preferences drive the demand for alternative institutions. Land use institutions in urbanizing landscapes can protect community resources, but communities need to be more conscious about their decisions regarding institution creation, implementation, and enforcement in order to control the urbanizing process and reduce unwanted effects.
Area planning & development
0999: Urban planning
0999: Area planning & development