J.B. Ruhl

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Widener Law Symposium Journal

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Urban central cities present a host of environmental problems including, but not limited to, industrial pollution, brownfields, smog, and environmental injustice. Rural and agricultural areas also experience environmental degradations such as pesticide runoff, wetlands conversion, and overgrazing. Between these different bands of lifestyle and land use lie the suburbs, which present their own set of environmental policy issues. This Article focuses on one of those problems: the growth of suburban land area and what it means for emerging notions of ecosystem management and sustainable development at the local land use scale. Part I of the Article provides the demographic and legal backgrouid of the suburban and ecosystem phenomena that are sweeping America today. These are both forces of tremendous magnitude, but have ambiguous parameters. Part II of the Article provides some suggested guidelines for the difficult task of designing law and policy to manage these forces in concert.

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