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Allocation of Land at the Rural-Urban Fringe Using a Spatially-Realistic Ecosystem Constraint

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  • Bauer, Dana Marie
  • Swallow, Stephen K.

Abstract

Development in rural-urban fringe communities is increasing with the potential to damage healthy ecosystems and endanger the long-term persistence of resident flora and fauna. The environmental impacts of development include loss, degradation, and fragmentation of wildlife habitat, increased air and water pollution, increased soil erosion, and decreased aesthetic appeal of the landscape. Current land use policies rarely incorporate features of landscape-scale ecosystem health. This paper develops a model that combines ecological and economic constructs to determine the optimal allocation of development across a spatially-realistic landscape. The land allocation model establishes links between long-term metapopulation persistence and development through an ecosystem constraint. A social planner seeks to maximize the benefits of development while guaranteeing a certain likelihood of long-term metapopulation persistence across the landscape that accounts for the changes to habitat patches and species dispersal success brought about by development. It is shown that in an economically homogeneous environment, the allocation of land to developed uses is determined solely by ecological elements (landscape structure and species parameters). The amount of land remaining in each habitat patch is the same regardless of their initial sizes or initial levels of development. The cost to society of meeting the ecological objective for metapopulation persistence depends on the land rent, the level of the safe-minimum-standard, the area of the landscape management unit, the distance between habitat patches, the dispersal ability of the focal species, and the species-specific area scaling parameter. Cost is not affected by the initial conditions of the habitat patches or the amount of development that has already taken place in the landscape management unit. When heterogeneity is introduced, the allocation of land is also determined by the differential land rents. More development occurs in habitat patches and landscape management units with higher land rents compared with the homogeneous case. In the heterogeneous land use case, where different land uses have different intensities of damages, the development intensity parameters are factors in the solution with more development occurring in areas zoned for less intensive land uses and the cost to society of achieving the ecological objective is a function of initial habitat patch sizes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association) in its series 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI with number 19394.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea05:19394

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Keywords: Land Economics/Use;

References

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  1. Elena G. Irwin, 2002. "The Effects of Open Space on Residential Property Values," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 78(4), pages 465-480.
  2. Robert J. Johnston, 2001. "Estimating Amenity Benefits of Coastal Farmland," Growth and Change, Gatton College of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky, vol. 32(3), pages 305-325.
  3. Bates, Laurie J. & Santerre, Rexford E., 2001. "The Public Demand for Open Space: The Case of Connecticut Communities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 97-111, July.
  4. Roan, Philip F. & Martin, Wade E., 1996. "Optimal Production and Reclamation at a Mine Site with an Ecosystem Constraint," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 186-198, March.
  5. Bockstael, N. & Costanza, R. & Strand, I. & Boynton, W. & Bell, K. & Wainger, L., 1995. "Ecological economic modeling and valuation of ecosystems," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 143-159, August.
  6. Albers, Heidi J., 1996. "Modeling Ecological Constraints on Tropical Forest Management: Spatial Interdependence, Irreversibility, and Uncertainty," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 73-94, January.
  7. Yang, Wanhong & Khanna, Madhu & Farnsworth, Richard & Onal, Hayri, 2003. "Integrating economic, environmental and GIS modeling to target cost effective land retirement in multiple watersheds," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 249-267, September.
  8. Sanchirico, James N. & Wilen, James E., 1999. "Bioeconomics of Spatial Exploitation in a Patchy Environment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 129-150, March.
  9. Smith, Martin D. & Wilen, James E., 2003. "Economic impacts of marine reserves: the importance of spatial behavior," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 183-206, September.
  10. Nancy E. Bockstael, 1996. "Modeling Economics and Ecology: The Importance of a Spatial Perspective," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1168-1180.
  11. Brown, Gardner & Roughgarden, Jonathan, 1997. "A metapopulation model with private property and a common pool," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 65-71, July.
  12. Toman, Michael, 1998. "SPECIAL SECTION: FORUM ON VALUATION OF ECOSYSTEM SERVICES: Why not to calculate the value of the world's ecosystem services and natural capital," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 57-60, April.
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