In this brief, authors Mark Ducey, Kenneth Johnson, Ethan Belair, and Barbara Cook combine demographic, land-cover, and other spatial data to estimate the incidence and extent of conversion from greenspace (forestland, shrublands, and grasslands) to development in the Great Lakes states. They report that greenspace conversions to developed land are most common in areas where greenspace is already limited. Population density strongly influences the conversion of greenspace to development. Conversions are most likely to occur on the urban periphery and in high-amenity rural areas. This research contributes to a better understanding of the linkages between demographic and land-cover change and provides facts that can inform policy aimed at balancing development and greenspace conservation.

Publication Date

Winter 12-11-2018


National Issue Brief No. 138


Durham, N.H. : Carsey School of Public Policy, University of New Hampshire

Document Type



Copyright 2018. Carsey School of Public Policy. These materials may be used for the purposes of research, teaching, and private study. For all other uses, contact the copyright holder





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