Maida - Chapter 08 | eBooks | Non-Fiction

Maida - Chapter 08

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Quality of Life, Sustainability, and Urbanization of the Oxnard Plain, California

The latest unplanned, random, urbanizing landscapes no longer adhere to traditional categories, such as urban, suburban, town, or rural. Agricultural land is being used for these landscapes, which are characterized by dispersed industry, homes, and stores. Daly and Cobb (1989) suggest that this use of agricultural land has its roots in the maximized profits of industrialization; more productive farms would require fewer farmers. Price does not take ecological or social consequences into account. This leads to an unsustainable model and the expedient of a land sell-off. Ultimately, in spite of the technology and intensification lavished on the production of food and fiber crops, the land itself is being degraded beyond repair; maintaining agricultural land is becoming an example of diminishing returns. Wendell Berry (1977) has written that the culture of agriculture is being lost and, once lost, will be irrecoverable.

Not unlike earlier planned suburbias, this form of sprawl promises the right of access to "pristine countryside," albeit with a simultaneous disregard for the countryside's degradation (Marx 1991). Sprawl contributes significantly to the reality of fewer farmlands; in many counties nationwide, even the excellent quality of the soil is not a deterrent to development (Sorensen and Esseks 1997). Development patterns invariably require more infrastructure, and so infrastructure is created and capitalized by an economic nexus of "outside" interests from the surrounding metropolis and beyond. Hence, the terrain has become politicized within California's agricultural regions. Supporters and detractors of growth each defend their claims and their often contradictory notions of community, land use, and sustainable development.

Quality of Life, Sustainability, and Urbanization of the Oxnard Plain, CaliforniaBarbara Yablon Maida and Carl A. MaidaThe latest unplanned, random, urbanizing landscapes no longer adhere to traditional categories, such as urban, suburban, town, or
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