Diagnosing the growth management disconnect between policy and practice in the greater Orlando metropolitan area


Regionalism and smart growth are two planning principles that in recent years have garnered more support from academia and environmental groups. In spite of this support, the mitigation of sprawl at the local level seems to be stymied. Central Florida's projected population increase and current patterns of sprawl provide an appropriate context to study the public policy/citizen participation disconnect. Understanding the disconnect between the state's enactment of policy regarding growth management and the ability of local planners to successfully curb sprawl will contribute to promoting comprehensive 'management of Florida's natural resources while accommodating the population growth that is expected to continue, in Central Florida. Research into why these ideas are getting lost in the translation from policy to practice is necessary to assist cities in better serving their citizenry. A survey was mailed to city planners in eighteen local governments within the four counties that make up the greater Orlando metropolitan area. These counties are Orange, Seminole, Lake, and Osceola. Local planners often act as the intermediary between policy formulation and public perception of those planning policies. Since planners must blend their implementation of state mandated policy with informing the public of the associated benefits, focusing the research on their opinions will provide a new perspective on the effectiveness of state-mandated growth management at the local level.

The research intends to show that the only way comprehensive growth management will truly combat sprawl in the greater Orlando MSA is with support from both an informed and active citizenry, and state policy makers who are willing to not only allocate the funding necessary to promote all parts of the 1985 Growth Management Act and its subsequent amendments, but who also work in concert with local efforts in comprehensive planning.


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Thesis Completion





Hawkins, Christopher


Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


College of Sciences

Degree Program

Political Science


Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic;Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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