Two scenarios are shown to demonstrate the effect of landowner values on development patterns over 30 years in the researchers’ North Texas study area. The darker the color, the more likely the area is to be developed.
In the scenario on the left-hand side, landowners (owners of large parcels of undeveloped land such as farms and ranches) are more likely to sell their property if surrounding land has been developed. In the scenario on the right, landowners are less sensitive to neighboring development and are primarily influenced by price when considering whether to sell their land for development.
The example illustrates the increased likelihood of regional development when both monetary and neighborhood factors (as in the left-hand scenario) influence landowners’ decisions about whether to sell their land. This suggests that efforts to manage regional development should take account of landowners’ values to be most effective. For example, open-space preserves could be located to provide “development buffers” to landowners sensitive to neighboring developments, thus discouraging them from selling their land to developers.