The Changing Face of Pennsylvania


“We must not only protect the countryside and save it from destruction, we must restore what has been destroyed and salvage the beauty and charm of our cities… Once our natural splendor is destroyed, it can never be recaptured. And once a man can no longer walk with beauty or wonder at nature, his spirit will wither and his sustenance be wasted…”

Lyndon B. Johnson (Former U.S. President)

Look around you. Pennsylvania communities are changing. There are more cars, more malls, more roads and more people. There are also fewer farms, fewer children walking to school, fewer corner stores and less open space. Changes in lifestyles have created pressures on land use. The evolution of communities is influenced by many factors—population, economics, natural resources, culture and technology.

Planning for change that enhances community character provides a valuable road map to guide land use decisions.

IntroUnderstanding the changes of the past is important for making sound decisions for the future. This lesson provides opportunities to compare and contrast changes over time and to analyze historical events that impacted land use patterns. It involves skill development in using mapping tools, charts, graphs and data to trace patterns of land use in Pennsylvania, to analyze trends and predict future change.

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