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Open Space and Urban Sprawl: The Case of the Maryland Forest Conservation Act

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  • Lichtenberg, Erik

Abstract

Rapid urbanization enhances the desirability of policies for preserving open space but those policies may expand the urban boundary and create leapfrog development. We investigate this potential conflict between open space preservation and urban sprawl conceptually and empirically using data from the Baltimore-Washington suburbs. The estimated econometric model indicates that both zoning and forest planting requirements contribute to sprawl by increasing the amount of land needed to accommodate the current number of households. The impacts of these regulations on sprawl are modest, however, increasing urbanized area by less than one percent in response to a one percent increase in any of these three forms of regulation. Thus, while there does seem to be some conflict between open space preservation and prevention of urban sprawl, that conflict does not appear to be acute.

Suggested Citation

  • Lichtenberg, Erik, 2008. "Open Space and Urban Sprawl: The Case of the Maryland Forest Conservation Act," Working Papers 37812, University of Maryland, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:umdrwp:37812
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/37812
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Munneke, Henry J., 2005. "Dynamics of the urban zoning structure: An empirical investigation of zoning change," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 455-473, November.
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    3. Bucholtz, Shawn & Geoghegan, Jacqueline & Lynch, Lori, 2003. "Capitalization of Open Spaces into Housing Values and the Residential Property Tax Revenue Impacts of Agricultural Easement Programs," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 32(1), April.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Land Economics/Use; R52; R14;

    JEL classification:

    • R52 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Land Use and Other Regulations
    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns

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