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Assessing Landscape Conflicts at the Municipal Boundaries in Maine

Authors: Yuseung Kim*, Univ of Southern Maine, Raegan Young, Univ of Southern Maine, Charles Colgan, Middlebury Institute of International Studies
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning, Sustainability Science, Spatial Analysis & Modeling
Keywords: Landscape Sustainability, GIS, Borders, Landscape Fragmentation
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

It is widely accepted that density of residential and commercial development is the central issue in land use changes affecting overall sustainability patterns in urban regions (Ewing et al 2008; Farr 2008). Within the same ecosystem, fragmentation issues arise along a town boundary when the communities have conflicting development densities. This could be because of governance difference, where planning or land use regulations require different densities, or simply from historic growth patterns. Nowhere is the problem of fragmented governance of land use as significant as in New England, where local governments were established in the 17th century, and boundaries we determined by convenient transportation by foot.
This paper will explore ways to identify and address challenges to landscape sustainability that occur at the borders of jurisdictions in Maine. Using a GIS model, the paper will examine boundary conflicts including growth nodes in one town adjacent to conservation or high ecological valued towns in an adjacent town or conflicts of differing residential or commercial densities that lead to transportation systems stresses. The paper will develop a taxonomy of conflict types, show how they can be identified and measured in both present and forecast contexts, and suggest strategies for municipal planners to resolve or avoid sustainability conflicts on the border.

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