Three essays on conservation-oriented community land use management

Yong Jiang, University of Rhode Island


Urban sprawl is a pervasive phenomenon. Public concern on its potential to degrade the quality of life motivates conservation-oriented land use management as one of the policy priorities for local authorities. My dissertation research contributes to this policy issue by developing a model for nature reserve design, demonstrating the policy application of conservation models to ecosystem-integrated land use management, and by exploring the potential of tax increment financing for open space preservation. ^ The first study develops an ecological function-based design method for cost-efficient selection of critical land to be preserved, and expects the established system of nature reserves to maintain landscape structure that supports local ecological processes critical to species long-term persistence. An empirical application with comparisons to other existing, alternative methods for nature reserve design justifies the functional consideration of the spatial location of reserve sites in addition to other important biological variables. ^ Based on the developed framework for nature reserve design, the second study proposes a community model of conservation programs with environmental impact fee to promote ecosystem-integrated land use management. This community model relies on conservation programs to preserve landscape structure supporting ecosystem health while accommodating future land development. Allowing the discretion of individual landowners on their land use choice, this community model incorporates a framework of environmental impact fee to manage identified critical land. An empirical application with simulation provides implications for land use policy, and, more importantly, demonstrates the policy application of conservation biology for ecosystem-integrated land use management. ^ The third study explores the potential of using property tax increment resulted from open space preservation to finance the preservation. Based on an economic model, this study identifies the conditions for tax increment financing for optimal open space preservation. This study simulates the potential of tax increment financing in both spatial and non-spatial contexts. Results show that TIF seems less likely to be viable in a large area, such as at the community level, than in a small zone. The spatial configuration of open space does matter for tax increment financing. Spatial simulation also generates implications for future hedonic valuation of open space. ^

Subject Area

Economics, Agricultural|Environmental Sciences|Urban and Regional Planning

Recommended Citation

Yong Jiang, "Three essays on conservation-oriented community land use management" (2007). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI3298370.