Land use policy and landscape fragmentation in an urbanizing region: Assessing the impact of zoning

Darla K. Munroe, Cynthia Croissant, Abigail M. York

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


The research presented here explores the spatial patterns in the landscape near Bloomington, Indiana, where urban and suburban development is expanding into formerly agricultural and forested areas. Landscape fragmentation has potentially detrimental impacts on provision of services and functions of forest ecosystems. We investigate the statistical relationship between landscape fragmentation and various socioeconomic, biophysical, and spatial variables associated with land use and land cover at the scale of individual, privately owned parcels. We find that the diversity of land uses is much higher, at the aggregate level and at the parcel level, in areas that are zoned to allow for the highest density in housing and smallest lot sizes. These results are still robust after accounting for key geophysical and accessibility characteristics of the individual parcels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-141
Number of pages21
JournalApplied Geography
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Forests
  • Fragmentation
  • Geographic information systems
  • Indiana
  • Land use
  • Landscape ecology
  • Parcels
  • Planning theory
  • Remote sensing
  • Urbanization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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