Preserving Prime Farmland in the Face of Urbanization: Lessons from Oregon

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143 Scopus citations


This article combines theory and a literature review with empirical and descriptive findings to demonstrate that Oregon's mix of policies is effective in preserving prime farmland in the face of urbanization. Exclusive farm use zones preserve farmland for farming; urban growth boundaries limit urban sprawl; exurban districts accommodate the demand for rural residential development without harming commercial farm operations; farm tax deferral and right-to-farm laws create incentives for farmers to keep farming; and comprehensive plans legitimize the entire package. This article proposes a comprehensive scheme for farmland preservation that expands on the experience of Oregon, including its mistakes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)467-488
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of the American Planning Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Urban Studies


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