6B.5 The Impact of Environmental Degradation on Economic Development Opportunities: A GIS-Based Examination of Planning Issues in a Coastal City

Saturday, 14 November 2009: 10:00 AM
Kasim Sheron Ortiz, Environmental Entrepreneurship, Savannah, GA

Connecting business development concerns and environmental improvement, specifically providing green space, with the assistance of GIS may seem abstract. However, as econometrics continues to broaden and planning techniques are enhanced, GIS-based econometrics are becoming vastly popular. This project seeks to address community concerns surrounding a major corridor (Norwich Street) in the coastal city of Brunswick, GA. The Norwich Street Business Association (NSBA) is an organized group of business-owners located along Norwich Street, which has been organized by Mathew Hill (Director of Brunswick's Downtown Development Authority [DDA]). Members of the group understand the importance in supplying mix-use plans, tying together both residential and commercial uses. This coastal city benefits remarkably from their coastal tourism economy. It is this response from members that supports their interest in expanding green space and looking toward business prospects that can provide more “green-friendly” services. Additionally, they identified other environmental factors that are contributing to falling property values and lack of prosperous economic development along the corridor. These other concerns were crime rates, vacant lots, and dilapidated lots. Data collected such as, property values, crime statistics, number of dilapidated buildings, number of vacant lots, and location and size of green spaces relative to the corridor, will be tested to determine the validity of these concerns. Data analysis will be done by utilizing a hedonic regression model. The test results will be explained in both statistical terms and spatially with maps developed by GIS techniques. The initial results were given to the business association, assisting in creating policy recommendations for local governmental agencies.

Contact Information:

Kasim Ortiz- NOAA

Environmental Entrepreneurship

Savannah State University

Department of Urban Planning & Studies

P.O. Box 20228

Savannah, Georgia 31404



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