Thesis Title

Developing For Our Future: A Perception Study of the Open Space Subdivision Technique


Deborah Koone

Date of Graduation

Fall 2002


Master of Science in Geospatial Sciences


Geography, Geology, and Planning

Committee Chair

Diane May


Communities throughout the United States are experiencing problems associated with rapid growth and urban sprawl. Infrastructure development costs, such as sewer, water and roads, are becoming increasingly expensive because of sprawl and inefficient land development practices. The open space subdivision technique is a development technique that encourages more compact development, provides open space amenities and reduces costs of infrastructure. However, this development technique has been little used in Southwest Missouri. This study identifies and evaluates the perceptions, attitudes and understanding of planning officials and developers/homebuilders in Greene and Christian counties on the open space subdivision technique to determine why this technique is not used more often. An infrastructure cost analysis for three cities in the study area was conducted to verify cost savings through use of this development technique. Planning officials, developers, and homebuilders were surveyed to determine perceptions, attitudes and understanding of the open space subdivision technique. Interviews were conducted with developers to further ascertain perceptions and attitudes. Primary findings of this research verify that infrastructure development costs can be reduced through more compact development. The survey and interview results indicate a disparity between planning officials and developers in actual understanding of the purpose and application of the open space subdivision technique. The marketability to the homebuyer may be the primary reason this development technique is little used. The research suggests that homebuyers are not interested in smaller lots and this technique is not as marketable in higher density urban areas. This technique may be more marketable in rural areas where the larger lot sizes could be reduced and infrastructure cost savings realized while still offering the homebuyer big backyards.

Subject Categories

Real Estate | Urban Studies and Planning


© Deborah Koone