50th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Sustainable Regional Growth and Development in the Creative Knowledge Economy", 19-23 August 2010, Jönköping, Sweden
Coastal areas have known from recent decades an increasing attractiveness that puts an important pressure on these specific territories and their resources, and that generates important land uses conflicts (Goetz et al 2007). Such conflicts may appear because of the different services that land resources provide, and that people are looking for. If economics literature refers to numerous studies of land transactions and land-use patterns, few studies deal with values of land services (Boyle et al 2006). This study takes place in this area of research, eliciting consumers' preferences and willingness to pay for alternative land uses and supplying interesting information to land use decision makers about the expected benefits of alternative patterns of development (Johnston et al 2003). We apply choice experiments method on a coastal area, the French Arcachon bay, in order to understand how people value the different land attributes of this site. Different hypothetical scenarios that are supposed to describe different spatial organisation of the territory are presented to respondents, who have to choose the scenario they prefer. These scenarios are defined from the main land attributes, so they need to be correctly understood by respondents (Hanley et al 2001). For this first stage of the method, we use focus groups results and experts point of views in order to define the attributes and construct the different choice sets that will be presented to respondents in a survey. Three focus groups (Krueger et Casey 2009) have been realised and experts' interviews have been carried out among some main local agricultural activities. Both qualitative inputs are not supposed to give the same kind of information (Kaplowitz et Hoehn 2001). Then, these qualitative informations are used to implement the survey design. Integrating such a qualitative approach and survey designs is supposed to improve the process of valuing land use changes benefits (Desvousges et Frey 1989). The authors will discuss this specific methodological point.