Policymakers in the Brazilian Amazon face the challenge of meeting environmental and developmental goals as cities and towns within these tropical forests continue to face migration pressure. Alternative government planning strategies have been implemented to address forest clearing in conjunction with meeting social agendas. This paper uses panel estimation methods to investigate the impact of settlement design on land use. Results indicate that new settlement designs developed to further social interaction have had a negative impact on land cover and land use transformation. Thus, while new settlement designs appear to positively impact stated social goals, including greater contact between families and access to water and services, these social advances have come at the expense of environmental goals.