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

  • Lichtenberg, Erik

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.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/37812
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Paper provided by University of Maryland, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics in its series Working Papers with number 37812.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ags:umdrwp:37812
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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.
  2. Ian Hardie & Erik Lichtenberg & Cynthia J. Nickerson, 2007. "Regulation, Open Space, and the Value of Land Undergoing Residential Subdivision," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 83(4), pages 458-474.
  3. Walls, Margaret & McConnell, Virginia & Kopits, Elizabeth, 2005. "Zoning, TDRs, and the Density of Development," Discussion Papers dp-05-32, Resources For the Future.
  4. Cheshire, Paul & Sheppard, Stephen, 1995. "On the Price of Land and the Value of Amenities," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 62(246), pages 247-67, May.
  5. Erik Lichtenberg & Ian Hardie, 2007. "Open Space, Forest Conservation, and Urban Sprawl in Maryland Suburban Subdivisions," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1198-1204.
  6. 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.
  7. Geoghegan, Jacqueline & Wainger, Lisa A. & Bockstael, Nancy E., 1997. "Spatial landscape indices in a hedonic framework: an ecological economics analysis using GIS," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 251-264, December.
  8. Wallace, Nancy E., 1988. "The market effects of zoning undeveloped land: Does zoning follow the market?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 307-326, May.
  9. McMillen, Daniel P. & McDonald, John F., 1991. "A simultaneous equations model of zoning and land values," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 55-72, May.
  10. Paul Thorsnes, 2002. "The Value of a Suburban Forest Preserve: Estimates from Sales of Vacant Residential Building Lots," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 78(3), pages 426-441.
  11. Tyrvainen, Liisa & Miettinen, Antti, 2000. "Property Prices and Urban Forest Amenities," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 205-223, March.
  12. Lichtenberg, Erik & Tra, Constant & Hardie, Ian, 2007. "Land use regulation and the provision of open space in suburban residential subdivisions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 199-213, September.
  13. 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.
  14. Moss, William G., 1977. "Large lot zoning, property taxes, and metropolitan area," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 408-427, October.
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