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Special Issue "Sustainable Landscape Management"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Paul Opdam

Wageningen University, Land Use Planning Group and ALTERRA Research Institute, Wageningen, The Netherlands
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +31 6 82 99 11 49
Interests: landscape ecology; landscape sustainability; community-based landscape planning; the influence of landscape knowledge on social-ecological networks; green infrastructure; landscape services

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In this Special Issue, landscapes are considered as spatially-heterogeneous social-ecological systems that develop as the result of the interaction of landscape-ecological processes and interventions by the community of land-owners and users. These interventions aim to adapt the functioning of the natural component of the system to better fit the societal demands for social and economic value. However, landscape users vary in their perception of desired value, and in what would be the best adaptation measure and the best location to implement it, which implies a major role of negotiation in the community-process.

In this context, landscape management is sustainable if it promotes social and economic benefits from landscape services as a result of a community-wide decision-making about a desired balance of values. Sustainable landscape management is also characterized by solutions to make resource use circular, as well as by the inclusion of regulatory ecological services in production chains, such as natural pest control, water purification and health improving services.

For this Special Issue we welcome contributions about innovative interdisciplinary approaches that could support such community-based landscape governance, such as interactive valuation of actual benefits and negotiation about adaptation measures, analysis of social-ecological networks and community-based design of desired landscapes. We also welcome case studies in both urban and rural landscapes that investigate applications of such approaches, including the role of information about landscape services on the social-ecological network. Such case studies may also analyze business models for innovative sustainable landscape management solutions.  

Prof. Dr. Paul Opdam
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • community-based landscape governance
  • landscape stewardship
  • social-ecological network dynamics
  • nature-inclusive solutions
  • ecosystem services
  • landscape services
  • collaborative landscape management
  • market-based landscape management

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Collaborative Landscape Planning: Co-Design of Ecosystem-Based Land Management Scenarios
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1668; doi:10.3390/su9091668
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 20 September 2017
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Abstract
Land management in coastal areas has to cope with impacts of climate change and sea level rise. In Germany, landscape plans assess and organize the spatial allocation of land use as an environmental contribution to general spatial planning. Collaborative planning processes are important
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Land management in coastal areas has to cope with impacts of climate change and sea level rise. In Germany, landscape plans assess and organize the spatial allocation of land use as an environmental contribution to general spatial planning. Collaborative planning processes are important to develop sustainable and ecosystem-based strategies to make coastal landscapes climate proof. However, there is little experience with collaborative processes in practical planning in Germany, and probably in other countries as well. This paper conducts an empirical case study in the low-lying coastal areas of northwest Germany. During a collaborative landscape planning process, four different ecosystem-based land management scenarios have been co-designed by regional experts and researchers. The participatory and iterative process included the development of scenario narratives to define planning goals, the use of land use elements and their relations to ecosystem services as planning entities in terms of indicators, the art-based illustrations of the different scenarios, and an evaluation and monitoring of the outcomes by regional experts. The decision-maker group decided on the so-called “actor-based” scenario, which contained freshwater retention areas (polders) to prevent potential uncontrolled flooding of the hinterland. This climate adaptation strategy has been implemented in the regional development plan of the county. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Landscape Management)
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Open AccessArticle Integrated Landscape Approach: Closing the Gap between Theory and Application
Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1371; doi:10.3390/su9081371
Received: 28 June 2017 / Revised: 29 July 2017 / Accepted: 1 August 2017 / Published: 3 August 2017
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Abstract
Recently, the integrated landscape approach has gained increasing interest of the scientific community, as well as of organizations active in the field of sustainable development. However, the enthusiastic welcome is challenged by little consensus on theory, terminology and definitions. Moreover, the operationalization of
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Recently, the integrated landscape approach has gained increasing interest of the scientific community, as well as of organizations active in the field of sustainable development. However, the enthusiastic welcome is challenged by little consensus on theory, terminology and definitions. Moreover, the operationalization of the approach into practice is a major challenge. In this paper, we present a framework to operationalize the integrated landscape approach in practice by putting a long-term collaboration between scientists and various stakeholder at center stage. Based on encompassing understanding of landscape-level processes and interactions, four pillars addressing different steps of a joint-learning circle are described and illustrated with examples. We consider the integrated landscape approach to be a prime way of targeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but novel forms of collaboration between scientists and other stakeholders based on long-term commitments will be needed for operationalization in practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Landscape Management)
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Open AccessArticle Home Gardenscapes as Sustainable Landscape Management on St. Eustatius, Dutch Caribbean
Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1310; doi:10.3390/su9081310
Received: 29 June 2017 / Revised: 19 July 2017 / Accepted: 26 July 2017 / Published: 27 July 2017
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Abstract
Home gardens are an important topic for landscape research due to their intersectional contributions to plant diversity conservation and local livelihoods. As sites of ecological restoration, gardens transform small-scale landscapes toward higher plant richness and density. We examine “gardenscapes” on St. Eustatius, a
[...] Read more.
Home gardens are an important topic for landscape research due to their intersectional contributions to plant diversity conservation and local livelihoods. As sites of ecological restoration, gardens transform small-scale landscapes toward higher plant richness and density. We examine “gardenscapes” on St. Eustatius, a small Caribbean island, focusing on how plants growing around a home contribute to ecological and ethnobotanical measures of plant diversity, and how residents value the importance of gardens to their livelihoods. Through a survey of 14 gardenscapes and 11 home interviews, we report 277 plant species, including 31% native and 69% non-native, high plant densities and structural evenness, 260 plants with uses, and a total of 363 uses, especially as ornamental plants (184) and for other environmental services (16), but also food (101), health remedies (50), material uses (10) and symbolic services (2). Participants indicated that home gardening could be difficult due to drought and pests, but provided resources and incomes to livelihoods, especially through the production of food products. Several respondents reported that gardening was a declining activity on St. Eustatius, but this study shows how gardening activities offer a biocultural approach to conservation that supports plant diversity and livelihoods across the island’s highly-modified natural landscape. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Landscape Management)
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Open AccessArticle Relating Knowledge and Perceptions of Sustainable Water Management to Preferences for Smart Irrigation Technology
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 607; doi:10.3390/su9040607
Received: 20 February 2017 / Revised: 4 April 2017 / Accepted: 12 April 2017 / Published: 14 April 2017
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Abstract
Water quantity and quality concerns in urban environments have prompted conservation groups, governmental agencies, and policy makers to develop and promote residential water conservation programs, including restrictions on residential landscape irrigation practices and incentives for the adoption of water-efficient appliances. Previous literature links
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Water quantity and quality concerns in urban environments have prompted conservation groups, governmental agencies, and policy makers to develop and promote residential water conservation programs, including restrictions on residential landscape irrigation practices and incentives for the adoption of water-efficient appliances. Previous literature links household characteristics, financial incentives, and demographic characteristics to the adoption of water-efficient appliances and overall water use. However, relatively little attention has been given toward understanding how homeowners’ perceptions and knowledge of smart irrigation technologies affect their preferences or stated purchase likelihood of such irrigation equipment. To address this gap in the literature, this paper identifies perception- and knowledge-related factors that are correlated with the purchase likelihood of smart irrigation controllers. The generalized logit regression model results suggest that knowledge about irrigation systems and residential landscaping are positively correlated with purchase likelihood. Similarly, homeowners’ perceptions about conservation efforts, water restrictions, and their neighbors’ irrigation habits all increase purchase likelihood. Combined with statistically-significant correlations of several socio-demographic variables and purchase likelihood, these results have theoretical and practical implications, which are summarized in this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Landscape Management)
Open AccessArticle Social Farming in the Promotion of Social-Ecological Sustainability in Rural and Periurban Areas
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1238; doi:10.3390/su8121238
Received: 4 August 2016 / Revised: 17 November 2016 / Accepted: 21 November 2016 / Published: 29 November 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (464 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Rural areas are facing a spectrum of landscape changes and vulnerability as a consequence of financial and environmental crises. Innovative approaches are required to maintain the provision of social services and manage ecosystem services in these areas. We explore the capacity of social
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Rural areas are facing a spectrum of landscape changes and vulnerability as a consequence of financial and environmental crises. Innovative approaches are required to maintain the provision of social services and manage ecosystem services in these areas. We explore the capacity of social farming to create viable and sustainable rural and periurban areas according to a social-ecological perspective. We use the key elements of social-ecological systems under social farming practices to analyse (1) the role of local communities and non-formal institutions; (2) the involvement of target stakeholders; and (3) the explicit connection between agroecosystems and human wellbeing. To do so, we selected and described four cases of local social farming initiatives in terms of the key elements of social-ecological systems and conducted a literature review to provide an overview of the explicit impact of social farming on the quality of life. We found that social farming illustrates hybrid governance solutions beyond market instruments that could be applied for the governance of agroecosystems. It can also provide a range of other wellbeing and cultural ecosystem services to rural and urban inhabitants. Greater cooperation between social farming and ecosystem service science could rebound in rural landscape sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Landscape Management)
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