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Planners' Perceptions of Land Use Planning Tools in the U.S. Pacific States
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Land use planning tools have been extensively applied in the U.S. to achieve sustainability and resiliency for local communities. These include development regulations, building standards, property acquisition, incentive tools, information dissemination, critical and public facilities policies, financial tools, and private-sector initiatives. An important issue related to land use planning tools is to assess planners’ beliefs about the ways in which these tools differ from each other and, thus, how planners choose among these tools in the plan making process. To address this issue, the present study addressed three basic research objectives: 1) determine if planners agree in their perceptions of the attributes of land use planning tools, including efficacy, cost, and implementation barriers; 2) determine if personal characteristics affect planners’ perceptions of land use planning tools; and 3) determine if work environment characteristics affect planners’ perceptions of land use planning tools. A web-based survey collected data from urban planners in coastal and inland counties (or boroughs) in the five Pacific states. Interrater agreement was assessed to determine if planners had similar perceptions of the attributes of eight types of land use planning tools. In addition, an intercorrelation matrix was examined to identify any important relationships among three perceptual attributes of planning tools (effectiveness, cost, and implementation barriers) and contextual variables such as planners’ personal characteristics and those of their jurisdictions. The results indicate that 1) planners substantively, but not completely, agreed in their perceptions of the land use planning tools; 2) planners’ perceptions of planning tools are minimally related to their personal characteristics and those of their jurisdictions; and 3) planners’ perceptions of planning tools are significantly correlated with the capacity of their planning agencies. The high level of agreement among practicing planners suggests that planners have similar “mental models” about these planning tools. Moreover, these planners viewed effectiveness as negatively correlated with cost and implementation barriers so they must make tradeoffs among those attributes because there is no “dominant” tool that will be appropriate for all situations. These experienced planners’ views should be conveyed to planning students and novice planners so the latter can better understand the tradeoffs among these tools’ effectiveness, cost, and implementation barriers and choose the most appropriate tool when formulating a growth management strategy.
Ge, Yue (2013). Planners' Perceptions of Land Use Planning Tools in the U.S. Pacific States. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from