Title page for ETD etd-05202003-134551

Type of Document Major Paper
Author Appler, Douglas R.
URN etd-05202003-134551
Title America's Converging Open Space Protection Policies: Evidence from New Hampshire, Virginia and Oregon
Degree Master of Arts
Department Urban Affairs and Planning
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Zahm, Diane L. Committee Chair
Nelson, Arthur C. Committee Member
Richardson, Jesse J. Committee Member
  • Urban Growth Boundaries
  • Conservation Easements
  • State Planning
  • Land Trusts
  • Open Space
  • Growth Management
Date of Defense 2003-04-22
Availability unrestricted
The nature of open space protection in America is changing. All across the country, states have begun to converge on a common set of tools designed to protect the rural land within their borders from development. Ideas which are successful in one state are being borrowed and copied in others. When adopted in a new state, these tools work in conjunction with, or sometimes replace, the state’s traditional methods of open space protection. The adoption of these new tools is important because it highlights the fact that traditional approaches to preserving open space may no longer be able to protect land to the degree desired by local residents. The more quickly policy makers become aware of this trend, the more quickly they can begin to search for new ideas to slow the loss of open space.

This paper shows that the convergence of open space protection policies is taking place first by documenting the widespread popularity of open space protection throughout the country, and then by chronicling the relevant policy changes of three representative states: New Hampshire, Virginia, and Oregon. It closes with a discussion of the importance of this shift to the planning profession, and it identifies three future challenges for open space protection in the United States. It also includes an appendix, which gives a detailed discussion of three different approaches to defining “Open Space,” and gives examples of each approach.

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