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Abundant open space is a defining characteristic of the United States. It has affected the nation?s history and cultural identity, and, during the last decade, managing urban sprawl and protecting open space has become a major public policy challenge. Today, many state and local initiatives are attempting to answer an extraordinarily complex question: How can communities accommodate new residents and businesses without sacrificing the important historic, cultural, ecological, and social values within the built and natural environments that are so essential to quality of life?
In this report, conducted by the LBJ School and the Community and Regional Planning Program of the UT Austin School of Architecture for the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the findings from 32 case studies in 15 states are presented. The initiatives are evaluated in terms of issues addressed, approach adopted, nature of intergovernmental relations and partnerships, scale, and role of the federal government. Characteristics of effective cases are identified as well as future challenges and opportunities.
This report is the second of a two-part research project for the CRS. The first report, State Growth Management and Open Space Preservation Policies, identified and categorized state government initiatives concerning growth management and open space preservation enacted since 1990. This inventory revealed the national scope of such initiatives and identified the most active states, from which the 32 case studies in the second year of the project were drawn.
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