Environmental Local Public Goods: Open Space Preservation and Multi-Level Analysis
Lee, Se Jin (author)
Feiock, Richard C. (professor directing dissertation)
Herrington, Carolyn (university representative)
deHaven-Smith, Lance (committee member)
Lee, Keon-Hyung (committee member)
School of Public Administration and Policy (degree granting department)
Florida State University (degree granting institution)
Open space preservation is a critical issue responding to undesirable sprawl. Over the past decades, responding to such trends of expansion and sprawl, open space protection has become more intense. Thus, local, regional, state governments have become increasingly concerned with growth and land preservation. More explicitly, state growth management has implemented in a broad set of social goals and policy tools in the era of smart growth (Bosselman and Callies, 1971; Gillham, 2002). State smart growth has concentrated on a mix of higher density residential development in order to protect open space and natural resources (Ingram et al, 2009). At local level, growth management has been implemented through the planning and regulatory tools of comprehensive plans, zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations, and capital improvement programs (Porter, 1997). Despite open space preservation is a political process, extant studies on the decision of land preservation fail to consider within political process. The purpose of this dissertation investigates what factors account for local open space preservation applying political market framework. First analysis aims to examine the impact of state growth management on local open space preservation as well as the impact of the contextual factors of county governments More specifically, with advanced methodology, Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM), it examines whether strong involvement of state level government influence open space protection made by local level governments. Second analysis examines how local political institutions' supplies and environmental interests' demands account for local open space protection with panel data of Florida Communities Trust (FCT) applications, Florida's state-wide land acquisition program, from 2001 to 2008. The empirical results show that, first, strong involvement of state government on local open space preservation leads to better outcomes. It theoretically and empirically means that contextual and political circumstances of state level government perform an additional explanation on the variation among county level. Second, local political institutions play a significant role in open space preservation. In addition to formal institution, networks as an informal institution are key driver of open space preservation. This result implies that governmental partners such as federal and states agencies and horizontal partners such as land trusts, environmental organization and non-profit organization are important in that local government can make wider array of financing mechanisms and get much of information from networks with governmental and horizontal partners. Third, environmental preservation constituencies measured by land trusts in the first analysis and environmental specialty license tag revenue in the second analysis have positive influence on open space preservation. Unlike land use regulation, development or growth machine interests have no influence on open space preservation. In sum, this dissertation confirms that strong involvement of state government influences the effort of local government on open space preservation. Open space preservation is the outcome of political institutions and environmental demands. This dissertation also suggests future study. First, future study will explore the link between open space preservation and various regulatory tools or strategies such as zoning ordinance, conservation easement, impact fees, and so on, to growth control. Another future study will be a national-wide study how state level government influences the outcome of local government with Intercept-As-Outcome Modeling. This study must provide in-depth and better understanding of dynamics of configuration of policy outcome. Networks are critical element of open space preservation and more broadly smart growth and sustainable development. Thus, Network analysis will examine relationships between public, private, and nonprofit actors, such as the Trust for Public Lands to investigate the role of both formal and informal institutions in configuring open space preservation and land acquisition decisions.
Local Public Goods, Open Space Preservation, Hierarchical Governmental Relation, Political Market Framework
June 13, 2011.
A Dissertation submitted to the Reubin O'D. Askew School of Public Administration and Policy in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Richard C. Feiock, Professor Directing Dissertation; Carolyn Herrington, University Representative; Lance deHaven-Smith, Committee Member; Keon-Hyung Lee, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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