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Political fragmentation and land use changes in the Interior Plains

  • Author(s): Kim, JH;
  • Cho, J;
  • Keane, TD
  • et al.

Recent years have witnessed growing interest in the critical role of local/regional governance structures in shaping physical land development and associated natural resource management processes. This article investigates how political fragmentation in local governance can affect land use patterns through a watershed-level analysis of population and employment density changes in the Interior Plains, the largest physiographic division of the US. Population density change rates are found to be negatively associated with a higher degree of political fragmentation, while employment density does not show such a clear relationship with political fragmentation. This finding shows that political fragmentation may present significant challenges to land and water resource management, a result consistent with the previous empirical research.

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