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Local Decision Maker

Resources: Glossary


Our glossary includes terms and acronyms used throughout the web site.  For purposes of this web site, terms that may be ambiguous are marked with an asterisk (*).

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biomass - living or dead materials that are used in fuel or industrial production.


buffer - an area around a resource that is designated to protect the actual resource for development.  For instance, a river may be 30 feet wide with a buffer of 100 feet set on each side.


brownfield - an abandoned or under-utilized industrial site that cannot expand or be rebuilt due to environmental contamination.


Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) - an agency of the Department of Commerce, BEA is one of the most recognized sources for the latest employment data in the United States.  One of the features of BEA data is that full-time, part-time and proprietary jobs are included in the data.



channelization - A stream become channelized if rainfall or run-off creates erosion of the stream bed.  Over time, the channelization may cause total erosion of a stream resulting in steep bank.


colluvium soil - a mixture of soil and loose rocks that often form at the base of slopes.  These materials are often transported by gravity and build up with time.



economic development - growth that is planned and or desired.


employment center - a concentration of jobs (can be one type) in a particular area.


economic diversification index - a measure of the diversification or distribution of employment shares in different industry sectors.



* green infrastructure - “Green Infrastructure is our nation’s natural life support system – an interconnected network of waterways, wetlands, woodlands, wildlife habitats and other natural areas; greenways, parks and other conservation lands; working farms, ranches and forests; and wilderness and other open spaces that support native species, maintain natural ecological processes, sustain air and water resources, and contribute to the health and quality of life for America’s communities and people (Benedict and McMahon, 2006).”


growth - an increase, whether planned or not.



impervious surfaces - includes roads, parking lots, driveways, sidewalks and roof tops.



land cover - describes how the land is covered is terms of bareness such as pasture vs. a mall.


land use - describes how the land is used for example as residential, commercial, or agricultural.


LDM - Local Decision Maker. The web site you are on right now.




* managed green space - vegetated outdoor spaces that are managed to maintain a desired functionality.




National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) - provides statistics on agriculture within the United States.


National Land Cover Data (NLCD) - According to the United Stated Geological Survey web site, "

NLCD (National Land Cover Data) is a 21-category land cover classification scheme that has been applied consistently over the conterminous U.S. It is based primarily on the unsupervised classification of Landsat TM (Thematic Mapper) imagery. Ancillary data sources included topography, census, agricultural statistics, soil characteristics, other land cover maps, and wetlands data. The NLCD classification is provided as raster data with a spatial resolution of 30 meters."




*open space - includes working lands, managed green space such as golf range, parks, recreation areas, wild lands, unmanaged habitats, field corners, fence rows and abandoned pastures.




parcelization - the result when lands such as wooded areas are cleared for residential, industrial or commercial use.  The resulting fragments are parcelized.


Planning with POWER (Protecting Our Water and Environmental Resources) - a Indiana statewide program that links land use planning with watershed planning.




riparian - a zone where land meets water.




scouring - concentrated erosive action, especially by stream or river water, as on the outside curve of a bend.


sociocultural - a combination of social and cultural factors.


stewardship - the responsibility to take care of our natural resources to ensure their health for future generations.


swale - in development, swales are strips of land designed to carry off runoff.




* wild lands - non-urbanized land that are not managed for human benefit.


* working lands - lands that are managed for monetary value such as agriculture fields or timbered lands.




Zip Code Tabulation Areas (ZCTA) - created by the U.S. Census Bureau, ZCTAs were formed for summarizing statistics in a given 5-digit Zip Code of the U.S. Postal Service.   Mostly, the ZCTAs are the same areas as the Zip Codes.