Rural counties close to urban areas are the fastest-groŵing places in America. During the past three decades, outlying metropolitan counties, characterized by rural settlement patterns and heavy commuting to the metropolitan core, grew at a much faster rate than the nation, central metropolitan counties, or metropolitan statistical areas as a whole. Between 1970 and 1987, the population of outlying counties in metropolitan areas increased by nearly 7.5 million.1 As more people work at home, retired populations grow, and workplaces suburbanize-people are looking for homes beyond suburbia. A new rural sprawl is consuming large amounts of land, splitting wide open spaces into fragments that are useless for agriculture, wildflife habitat, or other ruraI open space purposes. Residential and agricultural land uses often conflict. When residential subdivisions move into agricultural districts, rising land values and nuisance complaints often discourage the continuation of farming or forestry.2 Favorable property tax rates, agricultural zoning districts,3 and right-to-farm laws are all aimed at reducing these conflicts.4.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
- Geography, Planning and Development