Theory, Methods and Public Policy
New Horizons in Environmental Economics series
Edited by Gary Paul Green, Steven C. Deller and David D. Marcouiller
Chapter 19: Amenities and Rural Development: Policy Implications and Directions for the Future
David W. Marcouiller, Steven C. Deller and Gary Paul Green Amenities such as mountain landscapes, lakes, forests and open space exist within a complex set of interrelationships that are increasingly important in understanding changes in rural regions. During the 1990s there has been increased interest in the role of amenities in rural development. Whether thought to be driven by unprecedented growth in leisure travel, overall maturation of a post-industrial society, globalization or a lack of alternative rural opportunities, there is little disagreement that a paradigmatic shift is underway in how we view land-based rural resources and the developmental determinants of amenity-rich rural regions. The expanding literature that addresses the extent, impact, and causes of natural amenity-driven rural development has been criticized for its lack of a conceptual base. Although there is an expanding and fairly sizeable amount of good empirical work, it has been diﬃcult to develop generalizations that can inform public policy. We have several objectives with this volume. We are interested in advancing discussions related to key shortcomings, integrative needs and interdisciplinary opportunities with respect to the topic of amenities and rural development. First, we included presentation of the alternative theoretical approaches that produce generalizations about amenities and rural development. Second, we were interested in measurement and tracking of both the extent of amenities and their eﬀects on the rural condition. Finally, we addressed the development of more informed public policy that is appropriate for application to rural contexts. We recognize that these objectives span a...
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