Conservation Subdivision Design

PAS QuickNotes 81

By David Morley, AICP


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A conservation subdivision is a residential subdivision that devotes at least half of its potentially buildable land area to undivided, permanently protected open space. In contrast, conventional subdivisions devote all, or nearly all, buildable land area to individual lots and streets.

This edition of PAS QuickNotes highlights the potential benefits of conservation subdivisions and summarizes how local officials and planners can encourage conservation subdivision design by identifying conservation priorities, updating development regulations, and providing education and assistance.


Page Count
Date Published
Aug. 1, 2019
Adobe PDF
American Planning Association

About the Author

David Morley, AICP
David Morley, AICP, is a Research Program and QA Manager at the American Planning Association in Chicago, where he manages and contributes to sponsored research projects; manages the development of the Research KnowledgeBase; develops, organizes, and participates in educational sessions and workshops; and writes for APA publications. Mr. Morley also edits Zoning Practice.