Big Roads, Big Rights: Varieties of Public Infrastructure and Their Impact on Environmental Resources

36 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2008

See all articles by Carol M. Rose

Carol M. Rose

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law

Abstract

Two types of public infrastructure-roads and property rights-are often thought critical to economic development; this article compares their impacts on the natural environment. Both roads and property rights draw unfamiliar persons to remote areas, undermine existing informal resource practices, and enhance wide commercial trade, creating wealth but also reducing local resource diversity. New kinds of property rights hold much promise for environmental protection, but unlike roads and conventional property rights, environmental property rights would be tasked with curtailing commerce, as in roadless areas and caps on resource use. This sharp divergence from the traditional commercial mission of public infrastructure can limit support for environmental property rights, creating an opening for fuzzier and more consultative versions of environmental property.

Keywords: roads, transportation, property rights, environment, natural resources, forests, deforestation, greenhouse gases, climate change

JEL Classification: K11, K32

Suggested Citation

Rose, Carol Marguerite, Big Roads, Big Rights: Varieties of Public Infrastructure and Their Impact on Environmental Resources. Arizona Law Review, Vol. 50, 2008; Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 08-13. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1147405

Carol Marguerite Rose (Contact Author)

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 210176
Tucson, AZ 85721-0176
United States
520-621-5544 (Phone)
520-621-9140 (Fax)

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