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Urbanization Trends and Zoning around El Yunque National Forest

Author: Tania López-Marrero and L. Annie Hermansen-Báez
Date: 2010
Link: /el-yunque/fact-sheets/El%20Yunque%20FS3%20English.pdf
Abstract: The eastern region of Puerto Rico has experienced a considerable increase in urban areas over the last few decades (Ramos-González 2001) and has put El Yunque National Forest (El Yunque) under high urban development pressures (López-Marrero 2003, Lugo and others 2004). In 1983, a regional zoning regulation was implemented by the Puerto Rico Planning Board for the eight municipalities that have El Yunque lands within their boundaries.1 The main objective of the regulation was to limit urban expansion around El Yunque and minimize its effects on the forest. Due to poor enforcement and variations and exemptions granted from the regulation, approximately 85% of the urban expansion during 1985 and 1995 occurred in nonurban zoning districts, such as agricultural and forest zones(Lugo and others 2004). It provides information about where urban expansion occurred between 1998 and 2010 in the areas around El Yunque that were included in the zoning regulation of 1983, and it presents a comparison with previous data from 1985 to 1995. It also provides information about where urbanization occurred in each zoning district at the municipal level for the 1998–2010 period. The information offered in this fact sheet can be helpful to those municipalities that are currently implementing their autonomous land use plans, and to those that will implement them in the near future. This information can also help forest managers, land use planners, and decision makers develop and implement land use plans more effectively.

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