Date of Award:

5-2013

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)

Department:

Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning

Advisor/Chair:

David L. Bell

Abstract

Until the last half century, land development patterns in the Intermountain West were designed after the Mormon settlement pattern. With its gridiron streets and in-town farmsteads, this pattern gave families the opportunity to grow crops and raise a few animals on their one acre or less in town with the added advantage of having a social life. Over the last century, small farms have dwindled and large farms have increased in size. However, in the Intermountain West the farmstead tradition continues with families who grow gardens and raise animals on their large city lots, who value self-sufficiency, and who thrive in wide open spaces. To better understand the land uses and preferences of this population, a research survey was mailed to a sample pool of residents of Cache Valley, Utah who live on large lots with animal rights. They contributed an array of data about their backgrounds and how they are specifically using their land. Their responses validated the existence of a continued agrarian culture and gave insight on how they felt about trends in conservation subdivisions and common open space. A range of opinions about ideal lot size supported rural planners' suggestions to develop lots of varying sizes to meet the needs of a diverse population. Small farms on large lots can be a valuable part of a sustainable urban and rural environment. Local vegetables and agricultural products bring nature and natural processes back to an urban setting and reduce the environmental footprint imposed by extensive shipping. Culturally, small farmers provide a connection to the past and fulfill a lifestyle choice for a rural-minded population. Particularly in the Intermountain West, planners need to integrate these small farms into their developments to preserve the rural character of towns and cities of the region.

Share

COinS