Date of Award:

5-2019

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Environment and Society

Advisor/Chair:

Barty Warren-Kretzschmar

Abstract

Ideas developed by regional economists have potential applications within the urban planning field. One potential application is toward conserving farmland, and within this thesis this topic is examined for the study area of Utah County, Utah. Using assessor data, a land value map is created and further used to develop a regional economic model and spatial models that were analyzed for patterns of land use change.

Findings show that representing land value as continuous surface maps is a useful approach. The maps reveal that Utah County has densified as its population increased while farmland loss still occurred in agriculturally-important areas. Vulnerable areas were identified by examining the value of changed lands. Change mapping shows that macro-level variables affect local land values and subsequent development patterns.

While limitations exist, the conclusion was drawn that this data is useful in connecting land value to location, examining change over time, and understanding how individuals’ priorities (as represented through property values) may conflict with (and potentially solve) collective goals.

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