America's Converging Open Space Protection Policies: Evidence from New Hampshire, Virginia and Oregon
Appler, Douglas R.
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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 stateâ 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 â Open Space,â and gives examples of each approach.
- Masters Theses