America's converging open space protection policies: Evidence from New Hampshire, Virginia, and Oregon

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5 Scopus citations


Few issues define a culture better than what its landowners allow to happen on their own little plots of earth. The settlement history of the United States provides ample opportunity to examine this idea, because the country was established by such diverse groups of people over the course of so many years. As America passes into the twenty-first century, each state's day as a frontier territory recedes further and further into its collective memory, taking with it many of the traditional values and ideals once associated with land ownership. The emergence of the modern open space protection movement reflects the decline of these traditionally held, locally unique land ethics, and the rise of a near nationwide open space protection ethic in its place. This movement toward a national open space protection culture is taking place all across the country and has not received the attention from the planning community that perhaps it should. The purpose of this article is to draw attention to the country's converging open space protection values, to prove that this convergence is taking place by chronicling relevant policy changes in New Hampshire, Virginia, and Oregon, and to explain the importance of this shift to the planning profession.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-374
Number of pages34
JournalUrban Lawyer
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urban Studies
  • Law


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