Counterurbanization in California: High Mountain Regions as New Areas for Settlement – Impact on Population and Land Use Policy

From the 1960’s onward the Sierra Nevada counties have continuously ranked among those Californian regions with the strongest relative population growth. As a result, this mountain area has shown a “colonization activity” similar to that of the Eastern Alps centuries ago. The research is based on the notion of “counterurbanization” - occasionally also referred to as “rural renaissance” - as a starting point for a broad, in-depth look at sociogeographic and economic developments in the Sierra. In mountain regions a population increase is identical to a significant horizontal and vertical expansion of permanent dispersed human settlement to mountain landscapes. This does not only create enormous demographic and socio-economic changes, but also fundamental environmental problems influencing neighboring nature preserves.

Poor planning has expressed itself in the pattern of human settlement structures on the Sierra Nevada landscape: More and more homes and businesses are being scattered across the countryside in a pattern of “rural sprawl that could quadruple the portion of the landscape set a side for human settlement by the year 2040. Taking into account the current status of research, this project is based on three major theses built on one another.

Leitung: Steinicke, Ernst

MitarbeiterInnen: Löffler, Roland

Laufzeit: 2003 - 2006

Finanziert durch: Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (FWF)

Kooperationspartner: U.C. Davis, Dept. of Environmental Design (Prof. Nigel Allan)

Weiterführende Informationen: http://www.uibk.ac.at/geographie/forschung/stadt-region/counterurb_cal/

 


 

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