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Land 2014, 3(2), 504-523;

Evolutionary Mismatch as a General Framework for Land Use Policy and Politics

MS GIS Program, Department of Environmental Studies, University of Redlands, 1200 E, Colton Ave., P.O. Box 3080, Redlands, CA 92374, USA
Department of Geography and Planning, SUNY Buffalo State College, 1300 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, NY 14222, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 March 2014 / Revised: 16 May 2014 / Accepted: 4 June 2014 / Published: 13 June 2014
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Patterns of human land use (LU) necessarily transform the land systems that sustain and contain them. Importantly, the impacts of such transformations are not isolated in space and time. LU management decisions that are made at a given geographic unit regularly impact both human and nonhuman well-being beyond the spatiotemporal boundaries of that unit. To superintend the conflicts that arise out of such circumstances, human LUs are generally subject to institutional regulations. As patterns of socio-ecological interactions change over time, these LU institutions require reform or replacement, as extant rules or LUs can become maladapted to new environmental conditions. The current paper defines this situation—in which a LU that was established in a given environment becomes dysfunctional when relevant environmental factors are changed—as a LU mismatch. It then develops a framework for studying the policy and politics of LU mismatches through the lens of evolutionary (mismatch) theory. The framework provides a means for understanding the origins and nature of LU mismatches, and, in turn, it implicates leverage points for public policy intervention. We conclude by exploring how the framework offers a relatively nonpartisan discursive frame for stakeholders to employ in LU mismatch planning and political arenas. View Full-Text
Keywords: land use; land use mismatch; evolutionary mismatch; land use policy land use; land use mismatch; evolutionary mismatch; land use policy

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Weaver, R.C.; Knight, J. Evolutionary Mismatch as a General Framework for Land Use Policy and Politics. Land 2014, 3, 504-523.

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