In a unique study, researchers from Northern Illinois University and American Farmland Trust found that scatter development in the Chicago suburbs is often subsidized by those living in adjoining municipalities.
The loss of open space has become an issue concerning all levels of government. In the Midwest (the focus
this study), the great majority of open space is in agricultural uses. However, because this land is owned for
profit-making purposes, there is always the possibility farmland will be developed, taking open space
amenities with it. Government may take two different actions to preserve open space. First, parks, forest
preserves and other publicly accessible open space may be purchased. However, this is expensive and requires
This CAE working paper considers the impact of public infrastructure investments on the market for farmland. Most public infrastructure is owned by state and local governments (86 percent) and supports urban activities. Public infrastructure investment has declined since 1970 and states and local governments have come to rely upon land-use exactions for funding Farmland value can be strongly influenced by infrastructure investments. Highway access increases the value of farmland if it signals conversion to urban uses.
This CAE working paper summarizes four case studies looking at farmland protection in two counties in southern Wisconsin and two counties in northern Illinois. The rules, practices and attitudes regarding protection of farmland were studied as part of AFT's review of the effects of suburban sprawl on farmland conversion in the region to determine what policies and programs work. The four counties studied were Dane and Waukesha counties in Wisconsin and DeKalb and McHenry counties in Illinois.
This report presents the findings of a study of the mix and affordability of home ownership opportunities in two developing counties within the western border of the Chicago Metropolitan Area. It is important to study owner-occupied housing opportunities because most American adults are, or aspire to become, homeowners. In 1999, an estimated 67 percent of all householders in the country owned their homes.
This CAE working paper looks at McHenry County, Illinois and how effective its farmland preservation policies have been. Land use policies and zoning practices put in place almost twenty years ago are now facing the test as McHenry County has become the fastest growing county in Illinois and one of the most rapidly growing in the United States. McHenry County is about sixty miles northwest of Chicago. The county has 611 square miles and a population of 230,550.
This CAE working paper is the first in a series of four case studies which seek to better understand how and why farmland preservation works or fails. Coordinated case studies have been undertaken in two counties in Wisconsin and two counties in Illinois. The farmland in Waukesha County, immediately west of Milwaukee in east central Wisconsin and McHenry County, to the north of the greater Chicago area, are experiencing tremendous pressure from urban sprawl.
Due to a combination of factors, including development of open space land, increasing precipitation trends the United States and demands on Federal Emergency Management Agency funds, flooding is considered potentially to be the "dust bowl of the 21st century." Current and potential public and private financial burden suggests the need for government intervention to address the issue, most likely through land use planning.