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Re-creating the Rural, Reconstructing Nature: An International Literature Review of the Environmental Implications of Amenity Migration

  • Year: 2012
  • Author: Jesse B Abrams, Hannah Gosnell, Nicholas J Gill, Peter J Klepeis
  • Journal Name: Conservation and Society
  • Journal Number: 10.3
  • Publisher: Medknow Publications
  • ISBN: 0975-3133
  • Country: Australia

The term 'amenity migration' describes a broad diversity of patterns of human movement to rural places in search of particular lifestyle attributes. This review of international literature, drawn from the authors' own prior research and searches on relevant databases, synthesises findings on the implications of amenity migration for the creation and distribution of environmental harms and benefits. Further, we critique common framings of amenity migration-related environmental transformations and offer suggestions for future research. Analysis is positioned within a review of five common themes reflected in the cases we consider: land subdivision and residential development; changes in private land use; cross-boundary effects; effects on local governance institutions; and displacement of impacts. Within each of these themes, we discuss the uneven geographies of environmental transformation formed by diverse conceptions of 'nature', patterns of local management of amenity-driven transformations, and ecological contexts. We conclude that, through both intended and unintended environmental consequences of dominant activities and land uses, amenity migration results in a redistribution of environmental harms and benefits at multiple scales, as rural landscapes are (partially and incompletely) re-created in line with the ideals and expectations of amenity migrant populations.

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