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Governance effects regarding development, open space and sustainable communities: a GIS Analysis

Project Leaders: Jeff Kline

This investigation will draw on existing data and previously-tested empirical modeling approaches (Alig and White, 2007; Stein et al., 2007) to describe, project, and map development rates and patterns in the region as influenced by distinctly different land use policy regimes.


  1. Provide baseline analysis of historical rates and patterns of forest and farm land development in the greater Portland/Vancouver metropolitan area, including coarse scaled analysis of land use planning effects and projections of future change.
  2. Evaluate the influence of open space conservation on socioeconomic characteristics of communities in the greater Portland/Vancouver metropolitan area.

Methods for Objective #1:

  1. Create GIS maps of building counts and explanatory variables describing factors hypothesized to influence development (e.g. travel time to Portland, topography, zoning).
  2. Estimate an empirical model (e.g. negative binomial) describing changes in building counts (1975-2005) as a function of various explanatory variables.
  3. Evaluate difference in the rates and patterns of development between the Oregon and Washington areas of the study region, potentially owing to planning program differences.
  4. Use the empirical model to create GIS maps showing potential future development as predicted building counts (or densities) for the study region.

Methods for Objective #2:

  1. Drawing largely on secondary data sources (e.g. Census, Metro) gather data describing land use, open space, land use regulations, and various community characteristics (e.g. incomes, house prices, property tax rates, public expenditures on public education, health and safety) for the Portland/Vancouver metropolitan area.
  2. Estimate empirical examples of the theoretical relationships characterizing the influence of land use planning on socioeconomic conditions in communities.