AFTER THE PLANNING’S OVER: IMPLEMENTING MULTI-MUNICIPAL COMPREHENSIVE PLANS IN PENNSYLVANIA

Open Access
Author:
Chambers, Judith R
Graduate Program:
Community and Economic Development
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
None
Committee Members:
  • Theodore Roberts Alter, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • comprehensive plan
  • multi-municipal
Abstract:
Pennsylvania’s efforts to promote smart growth principles through multi-municipal planning have not produced significant changes in local land use planning practices. While many Pennsylvania municipalities have adopted joint comprehensive plans, recent studies suggest few have implemented them effectively. By learning more about the dynamic relationship between conditions, factors and behaviors in municipalities, we may be able to identify strategies that will encourage implementation behaviors. This research uses a case study of four Pennsylvania municipalities to examine the relationship between community conditions such as the rate of growth; three key factors of land use planning capacity, inter-municipal relations, and public participation; and the implementation behaviors of local officials regarding their multi-municipal plans. I suggest that changes in any one of these aspects can affect implementation behavior, and that specific state-level policy changes to address planning readiness, capacity, and public engagement may be effective in achieving a greater level of joint comprehensive plan implementation and ultimately better growth management.