An ongoing concern in both urban and rural America is the tradeoff between residential and commercial development and the conservation of forestland, shrublands, and grasslands, commonly referred to as greenspace. As communities develop, adding schools, housing, infrastructure, and the commercial space needed for an expanding population and economy, greenspace remains critical because it contributes to air and water purification, storm abatement, and enhanced human health and quality of life. The tension between development and maintaining greenspace is greatest where human populations are densely settled and expanding, and the concern is of particular relevance because the transformation tends to be permanent—developed land rarely reverts to greenspace.
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