Spatial Variation in Amenity-Driven Rural Development: Implications of Economic Climate, Transportation Infrastructure and Land Use
Monday, September 29, 2014
9:30 - 10:45 a.m.
105 Forest Resources Bldg.
Guangqing Chi, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, State Demographer & Director of Rural Life and State Census Data Center
Department of Sociology and Rural Studies
South Dakota State University
The importance of natural amenities in promoting rural development has been addressed in a large body of literature. That said, the potential spatial variation in the effects of natural amenities on rural development has not been addressed. This study investigates the spatial variation in the effects across the urban-rural continuum at the minor civil division level in Wisconsin. Results of spatial analysis suggest that natural amenities do indeed have differing effects on rural development along the urban-rural continuum. Natural amenities are appreciated the most in rural areas adjacent to metropolitan areas, but the least in urban are-as. In remote rural areas, amenities become valuable only when accessible through managed recreational areas. The results further suggest that amenity-driven rural development are conditional on economic climates, transportation infrastructure, and land availability for development and conversion. These findings have important implications for rural development, land use policy, and natural re-source management.