Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Environment and Society

Committee Chair(s)

Robert J. Lilieholm


Robert J. Lilieholm


Dale J. Blahna


Layne Coppock


Michael R. Kuhns


Donald L. Snyder


Richard E. Toth


This research contributes to the field of land use planning by examining the effects of demographic trends--also known as demographic futures--on growth and development projections for seven communities in the Mojave Desert region of San Bernardino County, California. Demographic trends based on California Department of Finance projections and land development data supplied by the Southern California Association of Governments were obtained for each of the communities for the period between 1990 and 2001. By using a spatially explicit urban growth model, these trends and data were then used to allocate community-specific future growth for Adelanto, Apple Valley, Barstow, Hesperia, Twentynine Palms, Victorville, and Yucca Valley. The research compared three projected settlement densities for each community. These three densities were based on settlement trends between 1990 and 2001, on existing densities as of 2001, and on densities that had been derived from prior research in the Mojave Desert region as a whole. The overall effect of using demographic trends to estimate settlement densities results in less development of open space and undeveloped lands than under existing densities or densities derived from prior research. Indeed, using demographic trend-derived densities in place of existing densities resulted in nearly 3,900 more acres of vacant land in the seven communities remaining undeveloped by the year 2020. Similarly, using demographic trend-derived densities in place of densities developed by prior research resulted in nearly 22,000 more acres of vacant land in the seven communities remaining undeveloped by the year 2020. Differences in projected land use patterns based on demographic trends are a key point for land use planners to consider when determining future development in each of the communities. Accounting for these demographic trends provides a way of "fine tuning" projections to ensure that they are more representative of the needs and expectations of future populations.