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Title: Master-planned in exurbia: examining the drivers and impacts of master-planned communities at the urban fringe

Author: Tilt, Jenna H.; Cerveny, Lee.;

Date: 2013

Source: Landscape and Urban Planning. 114: 102-112

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Smart growth strategies of infill and compact growth in existing suburban cities will most likely not be sufficient to absorb a new US household growth in the future. To meet housing demands and preferences, master-planned communities will continue to be built in outlying exurban areas. However, little is known about the impacts these communities may have on the surrounding physical, built and social environment in the exurban landscape. In this paper, we provide a review of the literature of what is known about the drivers behind the development of master-planned communities and the physical, built and social impacts of these developments on the surrounding exurban landscape. We then provide a case study of an exurban area outside of Seattle, Washington containing a large master-planned community. Through focus group interviews, we explore residential motivations to move to the area, and the benefits and challenges of living in an exurban landscape with a newly built master-planned community. Using qualitative data analyses, we find that residents are drawn to this exurban area for the abundance of natural amenities and outdoor recreation opportunities. However, the new master-planned community development presents many benefits and challenges for those living in the area; particularly the residential perceptions of impacts that the development has had on the surrounding natural and built environment. These real and perceived impacts of the master-planned community development has compounded and magnified the impacts to the social environment throughout the entire exurban community. Implications for planners and suggestions for future research are given.

Keywords: population growth, land use change, housing preference, natural amenities, community cohesion, community design

Publication Notes:

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Tilt, Jenna H.; Cerveny, Lee. 2013. Master-planned in exurbia: examining the drivers and impacts of master-planned communities at the urban fringe. Landscape and Urban Planning. 114: 102-112.


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