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COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE

COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE

many, and strong,

many, and strong, relations is rich in social capital, which provides certain incentives and constraints to a person. Based upon this argument, local governments with closure network or strong tie relationships with other local, regional, and state governments are rich in social capital, which provides cooperative norms to pro-environmental land use policy change. For several decades, Florida has experience growth pressures, which in turn increase a lot of planning activities and issues at the state and local level (Lubell et al. 2005). Even though the state formally requires local governments to take actions regarding land use policy, local communities have different characteristics, and consequently different policy priorities. This situation may not allow them act together in a certain way, or proenvironmental. However, existing strong tie network as social capital may work as a memory that provides a guiding light for the future cooperation and a barrier to the opportunistic behavior. Their shared identity provided by the closure network can be expressed in a similar value and those communities with the network are likely to understand what they have to do regarding land use policy issues. In addition, environmental concerns in local land use regulation need collective actions of various local actors because environmental issues are usually crossjurisdictional. A development in a jurisdiction might have spillover effects on surrounding jurisdictions. Therefore, efforts to preserve environment confirm the need to address collective action problems. Local governments within a closure network may share same interests and understanding regarding land use policy. Without cooperation, the local land use policy may be ruined by other actors’ opportunistic behavior. Therefore, cooperative norms and conventions within closure network provide better incentives for pro-environmental policy change. This closure network as social capital is a potential source for pro-environmental land use policy change because local entities within the closure network have shared interests and similar values in land use policy making, and consequently pro-environmental policy change might be easier and quicker without much transaction costs. 51

H3-5: Participation in strong tie network with other local, regional, and state governments will increase the likelihood of pro-environmental amendments to the local comprehensive plans. Network flowing information. The other theoretical perspective is the importance of information diffusion between actors. Burt (1992; 2000) emphasizes the advantages of “structural holes,” in which actors hold the strategic positions and control over the information flows. This argument is based upon the Granovetter’s (1973) theory about the strength of weak ties. 40 The access to new, unique information and the control of its spread is considered as the key mechanism generating social capital. This argument is contradicted to the concept of social capital as a function of network closure discussed above. According to Burt (2000, p. 353), “holes are buffers, like an insulator in an electric circuit. People on either side of a structural hole circulate in different flows of information.” Therefore, actors who are in a position to bridge these holes have a strategic advantage because “structural hole is opportunity to broker the flow of information between people, and control the projects that bring together people from opposite sides of the hole” (Burt 2000, p. 353). The argument of structural hole is different from the closure argument since information is non-redundant. Structural hole provides new, additional resources that could be used in the networking activities. In social capital perspective, the people who are in a position as a bridge are those rich in social capital (Burt 1992; 2000). Based upon the above argument, a structural hole provides a wide and loose association. This social capital plays like a network that helps communication flows and bind different actors together. Florida Regional Planning Council (RPC) is a place that fills the holes of communications about the regional and local planning issues. There are 11 RPCs in Florida since Tampa Bay RPC was established in 1961. Regional Planning Councils were created by inter-local agreements of local governments within the relevant jurisdictions. Their primary responsibilities are to provide information and 40 “The strength of weak ties,” written by Granovetter (1973), is the most heavily cited literature in network analysis and focuses attention on the importance of weak ties as bridges between different groups. He argues that the advantages of weak ties provide, for example, more job opportunities. 52

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