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Institutional drivers of urban growth in the central Arizona-Phoenix area

Publication date: 2009


  • Abby York, Arizona State University
  • Shannon Conley, Arizona State University


The Institutional Drivers of Growth in Phoenix is currently ongoing. The purpose of the project is to understand how the complex mix of institutions, federal, state, and local, influence the pattern of growth in Phoenix. This year we focused on state trust land, specifically changing state trust land policy in Arizona and the west in general. We are approaching the state trust land sub-project by conducting qualitative research of policy archival documents. The assessment of state trust land referenda included a text and factor analysis of the policy dimensions. Additionally, the Institutional Drivers project has just begun to work in concert with �Socioecological Gradients and Land-Use Fragmentation: A Cross-Site Comparative Analysis.� The Institutional Drivers that we�ve gathered include annexation data, as well as preliminary assessment of growth management policy.

In the American West, vast stocks of federally and state managed land and a relatively long history of self-governance and direct democracy unite to form heated public debates about use, management, and values. We investigate the nexus of these two threads of American politics, direct democracy and public land policies, through a qualitative study of ballot propositions on state trust land over the last century. A database of state trust land propositions was developed with forty-two propositions from fourteen states with over 90% from the West. Using word count as ideological placements we identified twenty-nine topics in the propositions. Text and principle component analysis reduced these to four dimensions of debate: 1) resource use procedures, 2) use of the fund, 3) management, and 4) investment. Additionally, we identified one issue that is receding in importance, resource extraction, while conservation and development concerns are emerging as new priorities. This study uses analysis of the policy language of ballot propositions to understand the political debates over state trust land over the past century.


Temporal Coverage:

2008-05-01 to 2009-06-01

Geographic Coverage:

Geographic Description: Some States within the US
Bounding Coordinates:
Longitude:-178 to -66.9
Latitude:71.4 to 24.7


Information Manager, Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University, 
POB 875402,TEMPE

Methods used in producing this dataset: Show

Data Files (1) :

Tabular: 293_ballots_1.csv.csv

Description: Ballots re State Trust Lands from US states

Column Description Type Units
record_id Automatically generated record ID
state US state
year year of ballot
integer nominalYear
ballot_date Date ballot was voted on
datetime Format: YYYY-MM-DD
ballot_title Title of ballot, usually the number
ballot_text Complete text of ballot
voted_for number of votes in favor
integer number
voted_against number of votes against
integer number

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