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Monday, April 9 • 2:30pm - 2:45pm
SYMPOSIA-06: FUTURES in Their Hands: Participatory Modeling of Land Change in Coastal South Carolina

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AUTHORS: Jelena Vukomanovic*, Lindsey S. Smart, Georgina M. Sanchez, Zeynab S. Jouzi, Erin O. Sills – North Carolina State University

ABSTRACT: Over the last decade, Johns Island, SC has experienced unprecedented growth, threatening a set of unique natural and cultural resources that reflect the Island’s rich civil rights era history and a near-contiguous landscape of mixed forest types, wetlands, agricultural operations and marine waterways. City, county and state government, along with NGO partners, have recognized these threats and implemented planning strategies for both urban growth and conservation. These partners also recognize the importance of including local stakeholder perspectives along with expert knowledge. Failure to include these perspectives can lead to ineffective and unpopular initiatives, neglect of cultural ecosystem services, and missed opportunities to conserve natural and cultural values. Through a series of workshops, we elicited these perspectives by asking long-term residents to identify, describe and map the natural and cultural resources of Johns Island. For example, residents mapped fishing, shrimping and crabbing spots, sites of historic and/or cultural importance, locations of community events, and recreational spaces. The spatial distribution of these resources suggested that they could be conserved by a shift towards in-fill development. We used the FUTure Urban-Regional Environment Simulation (FUTURES) model to simulate development patterns from 2010-2060 for business-as-usual, moderate in-fill, and ambitious in-fill scenarios. The two in-fill scenarios correspond to a gradient of possible regulatory changes that influence zoning and permitted land use. This framework simulates the emergence of land change patterns using three sub-models that project the location, the quantity, and the spatial pattern of change. We examined how the important natural and cultural resources identified by long-term residents fared under the three different development scenarios. Results point to trade-offs between development and conservation of locally valued cultural and natural resources. Resources that are lost even under ambitious in-fill policies may be prime candidates for other conservation strategies, such as conservation easements, deed restrictions, or fee purchase.

Monday April 9, 2018 2:30pm - 2:45pm CDT
Grant Park Parlor