Table of Contents

Amenities and Rural Development

Amenities and Rural Development

Theory, Methods and Public Policy

New Horizons in Environmental Economics series

Edited by Gary Paul Green, Steven C. Deller and David D. Marcouiller

Amenities and Rural Development explores the paradigmatic shift in how we view land resources and the potential for development in amenity-rich rural regions. Amenity-based growth can lead to several paths, based largely on proximity to urban areas and the type of development that occurs, whether it be seasonal residents, retirees, or tourism. The distributional implications of amenity-led development are an important consideration for policy, both within and between communities and regions. The contributors conclude that public policy needs to focus on maximizing complementary and supplementary uses while minimizing antagonistic uses of amenities.

Chapter 7: Amenities and Change in the Well-Being of Nonmetropolitan Localities

W. Richard Goe and Gary Paul Green

Subjects: environment, environmental sociology, urban and regional studies, regional studies

Extract

W. Richard Goe and Gary Paul Green INTRODUCTION A growing body of recent research has linked the presence of amenities in nonmetropolitan localities to changes in migration patterns and business location (Beale and Johnson 1998; Goe et al. 2003; Gottlieb 1994; McGranahan 1999). Overall the findings from this body of research suggest that nonmetropolitan localities that possess high levels of amenities have enjoyed an increase in their well-being. An examination of this literature, however, indicates that there has been little consistency in how the concept of amenities has been defined and operationalized in empirical research. There is a need for a more comprehensive theoretical specification of the processes by which amenities may exert causal influence on the process of rural development. The purpose of this chapter is to move toward this goal by: (a) providing a more comprehensive analysis of the concept of amenities, and (b) investigating how different types of amenities are related to changes in the well-being of nonmetropolitan US localities in the 1980 to 2000 period. Defining Amenities There is some ambiguity as to the definition of amenities. The concept has been used to refer to the climatic conditions found in nonmetropolitan areas (McGranahan 1999). It has also been used to refer to the available stock of natural resources such as forests, mountains, hills, lakes and rivers (English et al. 2000). Finally the concept of amenities has also been used to refer to the availability of opportunities for recreational activity (Beale...

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