Posts Tagged ‘economic development vs. social and environmental preservation’

THE END OF COUNTRY

March 11, 2017

ENVIRONMENT/CULTURAL CHANGE VS. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTEnd of Country

Not many planners or economic developers have the opportunity to reshape the physical environment changing the pristine environment into high density economically prosperous uses.

These situations typically pit environmental and neighborhood character preservation vs. economic gain.

It’s never a “clear cut’ decision, no “black or white” solution is easily identified to solve an endless number of questions and personal issues of folks concerned.

There are numerous books written about these situations, typically explaining how the economic development initiative has altered, not only the landscape but also the lives of people that live there.

The End of Country is another descriptive exploration of the conflict between economic development and change; both environmental and social.

Author Seamus McGraw chronicles the process of leasing mineral rights from rural country property owners through the making of Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, Marcellus Shale natural gas-well royalty recipient millionaires.

McGraw who grew up on the family farm tells the story of his elder mother and her neighbors process of being solicited to lease their mineral rights, the land clearing well drilling site preparations and the transformation of the “rural hill country landscape” of Pennsylvania into an industrialized natural gas collection landscape.

It’s a great read, one that will challenge planners and economic developers to think about the changes brought about by certain economic development actions.

It poses the question…. When is it morally and ethically correct to exploit the natural environment [possibly resulting in non-revertible outcomes] and change the physical and cultural landscape in pursuit of economic development community gain?

It’s a plaguing questions one this writer has explored in other blog posts about books titled: Bulldozed, At the Crossroads and Hollowing out the Middle.

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