Skip to Main Content
An analysis of the public discourse about urban sprawl in the United States: Monitoring concern about a major threat to forestsAuthor(s): David N. Bengston; Robert S. Potts; David P. Fan; Edward G. Goetz
Source: Forest Policy and Economics 7 (2005) 745-756
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: North Central Research Station
PDF: View PDF (177.99 KB)
DescriptionUrban sprawl has been identified as a serious threat to forests and other natural areas in the United States, and public concern about the impacts of sprawling development patterns has grown in recent years. The prominence of public concern about sprawl is germane to planners, managers, and policymakers involved in efforts to protect interface forests from urban encroachment because the level of concern will influence the acceptance of policies and programs aimed at protecting forests. A new indicator of public concern about urban sprawl is presented, based on computer content analysis of public discussion contained in the news media from 1995-2001. More than 36,000 news stories about sprawl were analyzed for expressions of concern. Overall concern about sprawl grew rapidly during the latter half of the 1990s. The environmental impacts of sprawl were the most salient concern overall, and concern about loss of open space and traffic problems has increased since 1995 as a share of all sprawl concerns. The method described in this paper provides a new approach for planners and policymakers to monitor change in public attitudes about a wide range of social issues over time.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, firstname.lastname@example.org if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationBengston, David N.; Potts, Robert S.; Fan, David P.; Goetz, Edward G. 2005. An analysis of the public discourse about urban sprawl in the United States: Monitoring concern about a major threat to forests. Forest Policy and Economics 7 (2005) 745-756
KeywordsUrban sprawl, public discourse, computer content analysisc news media
- The rise and fall of concern about urban sprawl in the United States: an updated analysis
- How landscape ecology informs global land-change science and policy
- Differences in knowledge about birds and their conservation between rural and urban residents of Puerto Rico
XML: View XML