WHAT IS A CONSERVATION DEVELOPMENT?
Conservation development was formulated in the early 1980s by a British-trained planner Randall Arendt. He pulled together several concepts from the 1960s. He combined the idea of cluster and open space design with Ian McHarg’s “design with nature” philosophy. (Doyle, Donna L. (2005). “Planning for Greener Development: Conservation Development and Landon Bay East”.
FES Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Series. 10 (2): 1–20). (Doyle, Donna L. (2005). "Planning for Greener Development: Conservation Development and Landon Bay East."
The biggest advantage of conservation development is that it can protect species and ecosystems, preventing further habitat fragmentation and loss. By surveying the land and identifying the primary conservation areas where ecosystems are most at risk, communities are created without huge disruption to the environment. While not a prevalent type of development, it’s estimated that conservation development takes up between 2.5%-10% of the total US real estate development.
(Milder, Jeffery C. (2007). “A Framework for Understanding Conservation Development and its Ecological Implications”. BioScience. 57 (9): 757–768.