Contributor(s)Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
KeywordsUrban Studies and Planning.
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AbstractNumerous authors have noted that the patchy, sprawling pattern of development characterizing the metropolitan fringe results in part from the decisions of individual landowners regarding the use, subdivision, development, sale, or transfer of land. These decisions are related to owners' interests in their land: the set of benefits, derived from ownership, that enhance owners' physical, financial, or emotional well-being. In this dissertation, I develop a framework for exploring landowners' interests in their fringe properties. The framework proposes a set of interests owners might hold in land, explains how they are influenced by personal and external circumstances, and discusses how interests shift over time. In developing this framework, I draw from research on landowners' roles in land conversion and Marxist scholarship on "exchange" and "use" values in urban land. The framework also emerged from research conducted in the Austin, Texas fringe, involving a telephone survey of over 500 landowners, interviews with owners and experts on the region's growth, and a field visit.
(cont.) The study reveals that Austin-area owners are a diverse group whose land interests relate to monetary gain, the use of land for residence or business, and emotional satisfaction from the enjoyment of resources or activities on their property; and that individual and family owners typically hold multiple interests in their land at any given time. However, the study also identifies general "orientations" toward agriculture, enjoyment, and investment, which, with other key variables (including residency, parcel size, tenure, and location), may be associated with specific behaviors including use, sales, purchases, and transfers to children. The research also reveals that, over time, personal and external factors (such as intensifying development pressures) may serve some interests but be deleterious to others, complicating owners' decision-making, but explaining why some elect not to sell land despite potential profits, and why, over the course of ownership, individual landowners may play multiple roles in land conversion, contributing to the uneven nature of fringe growth. For planners and policymakers, the dominance of individual and family owners, their interests, and the stories of their histories with their land can inform efforts to encourage alternative forms of development.
by Jennifer M. Hrabchak.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, February 2005.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 261-269).