Growth Management in Florida: Planning for Paradise/Lessons Learned? the History of Planning in Florida

By Silver, Christopher | The Town Planning Review, November 1, 2009 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Growth Management in Florida: Planning for Paradise/Lessons Learned? the History of Planning in Florida


Silver, Christopher, The Town Planning Review


Growth Management in Florida: Planning for Paradise, Timothy S. Chapin, Charles E. Connerly and Harrison T. Higgins (eds.), Aldershot, Ashgate, 2007, xviii + 315pp.

Lessons Learned? The History of Planning in Florida, Richard G. Rubino and Earl M. Starnes, Tallahassee, FL, Sentry Press, 2008, xi + 514pp.

One of the most celebrated cases of 'growth management' in the United States is the system implemented in the state of Florida. The 1985 Growth Management Act (GMA) fundamentally altered planning in Florida and in its approach represents a near perfect rendition of the planning profession's comprehensive planning model. But at the same time, its implementation went hand in hand with acceleration of processes of urban sprawl that characterised urbanisation in Florida. The Orlando to Tampa corridor running through central Florida, the nearly unbroken string of cities and towns stretching along the eastern seaboard from Jacksonville in north Florida to Miami far to the south, as well as many of the smaller places scattered throughout the rest of the state, represent the victims of low-density sprawl. Is this a failure to plan effectively, or does it suggest some inherent flaws in the growth management system itself ?

Answers to these querries are at the heart of a sweeping, data-rich assessment of growth management in Florida, Growth Management in Florida: Planning for Paradise. It is a compilation of sixteen separate essays by some of the most knowledgeable scholars and practitioners of the Florida system derived from a January 2005 symposium held at Florida State University. As the editors note in the introductory essay, the 1985 GMA was intended to protect critical natural resources and agricultural lands in a state with heavy dependence on agriculture 'from the spread of urbanization' in one of the most populous and still rapidly growing US states. Efraim Ben-Zadok, a public administration expert at Florida Atlantic University, notes that the conceptual basis of the Florida approach was intended to promote compact development and to encourage high densities and mixed land uses through 'consistency', which called for mandatory state, regional and local plans, and the requirement of 'concurrency', which meant that public facilities must be in place to support the desired development patterns. What appeared to undermine realisation of compact development and the failure of the growth management system to curb sprawl was a shift from state-mandated standards to substantially greater local discretion whereby developers were more effective in influencing the processes.

It was not just a shift in planning authority but also a reneging by the state on its commitment to finance the system. According to James Nicholas and Timothy Chapin, 'the initial state commitment to fund much of the infrastructure needed to implement growth management and to sustain concurrency was only partially provided. Increasingly the state shifted the fiscal burdens of the GMA to the local governments and to the private sector.' As they conclude, the Florida system was riddled from the start with 'a fiscal model that hampered implementation, promoted sprawl and created an entrepreneurial environment ... in which local governments pursue revenue streams that are politically feasible and acceptable to existing residents' (p. 66).

The spatial demographics of the state over the past 30 years suggest that Florida's growth management system exerted some impact. Tom Sanchez and Robert Mandle found that the pace of growth of low-density development (defined as that between 300 and 3,000 persons per square mile) slowed somewhat after enactment and implementation of the GMA. But when compared to non-Florida metropolitan areas, the pace of growth in these low-density developments was much higher in Florida. An examination of the spatial outcome of regional development in Florida from the 1980s through the late 1990s by John Caruthers, Marlon Boarnet and Ralph McLaughlin took an even tougher line.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Growth Management in Florida: Planning for Paradise/Lessons Learned? the History of Planning in Florida
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?