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Land, Volume 9, Issue 2 (February 2020) – 29 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Cropland preservation is of the utmost importance to achieve food security for the world’s growing population. The expansion of urban areas as a consequence of population growth is a major threat to cropland worldwide, and spatial planning is the means to contain urban sprawl and protect cropland area. However, it is not clear which planning decisions must be taken today in order to protect sufficient cropland area for the future. The impact of planning decisions on land-take can be simulated with land-use scenarios. Our land-use scenarios for Switzerland showed that revisions in the planning legislation would reduce future land-take on cropland compared to the past trend. However, in most parts of the country, land-take on cropland will still exceed what is necessary given the expected population growth.View this paper.
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Article
An Evaluation Framework for Urban Cadastral System Policy in Ethiopia
Land 2020, 9(2), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9020060 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1532
Abstract
Land is the most vital resource on earth from which people derive their basic needs. In order to administer and manage this vital resource in a sustainable way, there are several mechanisms, of which the cadastral system is the prime one. Literature documents [...] Read more.
Land is the most vital resource on earth from which people derive their basic needs. In order to administer and manage this vital resource in a sustainable way, there are several mechanisms, of which the cadastral system is the prime one. Literature documents that the performance measurement methods of cadastral systems are not appropriate. In most developing countries, systematic performance evaluation mechanisms for cadastral systems are very inadequate. For example, Ethiopia has no systematic evaluation framework to measure and evaluate the state of cadastral systems. This article aims to develop an evaluation framework to measure and evaluate the performance of urban cadastral systems in Ethiopia based on the methods that have proven successful in developed countries. The goal is furthermore to present a set of good practices and a set of indicators that can provide an objective basis to support a systematic evaluation of urban cadastral systems in Ethiopia. The study employs a desk review research strategy and a qualitative analytical approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responsible and Smart Land Management)
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Article
Sustainability Analysis of Prosopis juliflora (Sw.) DC Based Restoration of Degraded Land in North India
Land 2020, 9(2), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9020059 - 21 Feb 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1818
Abstract
Restoration of marginal and degraded lands is essential for regaining biodiversity and ecosystems services, and thereby attaining UN-Sustainable Development Goals. During the last few decades, many fast growing and hardy trees have been introduced worldwide to restore the marginal and degraded lands for [...] Read more.
Restoration of marginal and degraded lands is essential for regaining biodiversity and ecosystems services, and thereby attaining UN-Sustainable Development Goals. During the last few decades, many fast growing and hardy trees have been introduced worldwide to restore the marginal and degraded lands for ecosystem stability. Unfortunately, most of these introduced species have become invasive and invaded the nearby productive systems, leading to significant biodiversity loss and land degradation. Therefore, it is imperative to conduct a sustainability analysis of the introduced species for necessary course correction and also for preventing the future utilisation of such species for land restoration. With this backdrop, the present study was conducted to analyse the socio-ecological impacts of a widely used species, i.e., Prosopis juliflora (Sw.) DC based restoration of degraded land of Lucknow, North India. For this, ecological (soil quality and plant biodiversity) and social (livelihood) indicators have been studied over a period of two years (2015–16) through direct field sampling and questionnaire-based surveys. While there was a positive difference (p < 0.01) in the key physico-chemical properties of the P. juliflora-invaded soil than the non-invaded site, the belowground microbial load was significantly lower (19.46 × 106 g−1 of soil) in invaded land as compared to the non-invaded one (31.01 × 106 g−1). Additionally, the invasion of P. juliflora had significantly reduced the biodiversity by displacing the local flora such as Achyranthes aspera L., Amaranthus spinosus L., Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers, Euphorbia hirta L., etc. The invaded area had only eight plant species having an effective number of species (ENS) of 7.2, whereas the non-invaded area had the presence of 26 plant species with an ENS of 23.8. Although the local people utilised P. juliflora as fuelwood mostly during summer and winter seasons, the invasion resulted in a fodder deficit of 419.97 kg household−1 y−1 leading to resource scarcity in the invaded area in comparison to the non-invaded area. Ecodistribution mapping clearly showed that P. juliflora is already found in most of the tropical and subtropical countries (~103) including in India and has become invasive in many countries. Therefore, we recommend that P. juliflora must be wisely used for the land restoration programs targeted during the United Nations Decade of Ecosystem Restoration (2021–2030) as this species has invasive traits and thereby reduces the ecosystem sustainability of the invaded areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Restoring Degraded Lands to Attain UN-SDGs)
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Article
Collective Action Dilemma after China’s Forest Tenure Reform: Operationalizing Forest Devolution in a Rapidly Changing Society
Land 2020, 9(2), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9020058 - 17 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1059
Abstract
Devolution is a promising tool to enhance forest management. The literature has discussed many factors that affect the outcomes of forest devolution policies; however, insufficient attention has been paid to the role of exogenous socio-economic changes. Using the longitudinal case study method, we [...] Read more.
Devolution is a promising tool to enhance forest management. The literature has discussed many factors that affect the outcomes of forest devolution policies; however, insufficient attention has been paid to the role of exogenous socio-economic changes. Using the longitudinal case study method, we focus on how socio-economic changes affect the effectiveness of forest devolution policies using a case from Southeast China. We find that in this case, although forest devolution succeeded in granting farmers sufficient forest rights, it failed to incentivize farmers to contribute to managing forests because of the dramatic changes in socio-economic contexts. Economic development and outmigration reduced farmers’ dependence on forest income, elevated the costs of silvicultural operations, and posed market risks, thereby reducing farmers’ enthusiasm about managing forests; outmigration also weakened community leadership and impeded the collective action of making forest investments. Eventually, socio-economic changes compromised the positive stimulus caused by forest devolution and contributed to the collective action dilemma of managing forests after the reform. We argue that operationalizing forest devolution in developing countries needs to consider the exogenous socio-economic changes that may enhance or counteract the effects of devolution policies, and that more autonomy should be granted to communities to make policies adaptative to their local socio-economic dynamics. Full article
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Mapping and Analyzing the Park Cooling Effect on Urban Heat Island in an Expanding City: A Case Study in Zhengzhou City, China
Land 2020, 9(2), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9020057 - 14 Feb 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1478
Abstract
The Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect has been extensively studied as a global issue. The urbanization process has been proved to be the main reason for this phenomenon. Over the past 20 years, the built-up area of Zhengzhou city has grown five times [...] Read more.
The Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect has been extensively studied as a global issue. The urbanization process has been proved to be the main reason for this phenomenon. Over the past 20 years, the built-up area of Zhengzhou city has grown five times larger, and the UHI effect has become increasingly pressing for the city’s inhabitants. Therefore, mitigating the UHI effect is an important research focus of the expanding capital city of the Henan province. In this study, the Landsat 8 image of July 2019 was selected from Landsat collection to obtain Land Surface Temperature (LST) by using Radiative Transfer Equation (RTE) method, and present land cover information by using spectral indices. Additionally, high-resolution Google Earth images were used to select 123 parks, grouped in five categories, to explore the impact factors on park cooling effect. Park Cooling Intensity (PCI) has been chosen as an indicator of the park cooling effect which will quantify its relation to park patch metrics. The results show that: (1) Among the five studied park types, the theme park category has the largest cooling effect while the linear park category has the lowest cooling effect; (2) The mean park LST and PCI of the samples are positively correlated with the Fractional Vegetation Cover (FVC) and with Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI), but these are negatively correlated with the Normalized Difference Impervious Surface Index (NDISI). We can suppose that the increase of vegetation cover rate within water areas as well as the decrease of impervious surface in landscape planning and design will make future parks colder. (3) There is a correlation between the PCI and the park characteristics. The UHI effect could be mitigated by increasing of park size and reducing park fractal dimension (Frac_Dim) and perimeter-area ratio (Patario). (4) The PCI is influenced by the park itself and its surrounding area. These results will provide an important reference for future urban planning and urban park design to mitigate the urban heat island effect. Full article
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Article
Crop Boom as a Trigger of Smallholder Livelihood and Land Use Transformations: The Case of Coffee Production in the Northern Mountain Region of Vietnam
Land 2020, 9(2), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9020056 - 13 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1356
Abstract
Coffee is considered a boom crop in Southeast Asia. However, while it bears typical boom crop characteristics in many places where it has been grown, in other places it has contributed to agrarian transformation. This paper examines the context of coffee development in [...] Read more.
Coffee is considered a boom crop in Southeast Asia. However, while it bears typical boom crop characteristics in many places where it has been grown, in other places it has contributed to agrarian transformation. This paper examines the context of coffee development in the Northwestern Mountain Region of Vietnam and describes how smallholder coffee growing has triggered an agricultural transition process, and corresponding land use changes, from subsistence-based to commercialized agriculture production. The research was conducted in a commune located in Son La province. Interviews with 46 selected households and three focus group discussions (10–15 people each) were conducted to understand changes in crop systems, corresponding land use, and labor use, due to the adoption of coffee (the boom crop). The research found that coffee has replaced swidden crops and enables a multicrop system, with less land devoted to swidden land use. The income from coffee is used to hire labor and to pay for the inputs needed to mechanize rice farming. The research findings show that the coffee boom has brought about livelihood transformation, changed land use, and transformed local livelihoods from subsistence to production for the market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use Transitions)
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Article
The Stages of the Cultural Landscape Transformation of Seaside Resorts in Poland against the Background of the Evolving Nature of Tourism
Land 2020, 9(2), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9020055 - 13 Feb 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1247
Abstract
The development of tourism determines the cultural landscape transformation, spatial development of coastal localities, scale of recreational architecture and other forms of development related to tourism services. The article presents research aiming to analyze tourism development in the context of its impact on [...] Read more.
The development of tourism determines the cultural landscape transformation, spatial development of coastal localities, scale of recreational architecture and other forms of development related to tourism services. The article presents research aiming to analyze tourism development in the context of its impact on the cultural landscape of Polish coastal localities, taking into account the specificity of post-communist countries and supra-regional tendencies. The main objective of this study was to analyze the development of tourism in the context of its impact on the cultural landscape seaside towns and to identify, on the basis of the changes, the nature of tourism and forms of recreation in particular stages of the shaping of elements in coastal locality spaces and recreational architecture. The research was based on historical-interpretation studies, field studies of selected coastal localities, including urban-planning inventories, landscape, and functional and spatial analyses. The research carried out resulted in the identification of the stages of the cultural landscape transformation of coastal localities and indication of characteristic features of architecture and landscape. The journey along the coastline is a temporal journey through the changing nature of buildings, allowing observation of the stage-by-stage nature of investment processes in response to the changing needs of tourists. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape and Tourism, Landscapes of Tourism)
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Article
Did Government Expenditure on the Grain for Green Project Help the Forest Carbon Sequestration Increase in Yunnan, China?
Land 2020, 9(2), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9020054 - 13 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1034
Abstract
Reasonably assessing the effectiveness of government expenditure on the Grain for Green project (GFG) in providing forest carbon sequestration would contribute to the development of China’s forest carbon sequestration. Using the government expenditure data from the GFG in Yunnan Province from 2001 to [...] Read more.
Reasonably assessing the effectiveness of government expenditure on the Grain for Green project (GFG) in providing forest carbon sequestration would contribute to the development of China’s forest carbon sequestration. Using the government expenditure data from the GFG in Yunnan Province from 2001 to 2015 and the MODIS Land Cover Type (MCD12Q1) time-series datasets, we calculated the forest carbon sequestration of various counties (cities or districts). The impacts of GFG government expenditure on forest carbon sequestration were empirically evaluated by the least squares dummy variables method (LSDV). The research results indicate that a 1% increase in government expenditure on the GFG yielded a 0.0364% increase in forest carbon sequestration. However, the effects of GFG government expenditure on forest carbon sequestration differed greatly in different areas because of the diversity of the natural environments, forest resource endowment, and government policies. If the initial forest endowment was not considered, the effectiveness of government expenditure on the GFG in providing forest carbon sequestration would have been overestimated. This study argues that, to improve the efficiency of GFG government expenditure in Yunnan Province, more investment should be made in regions with positive regression coefficients that have passed the significance t-test, such as Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in the northwest, Baoshan City in the west, Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture in the south, and Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture in the east. Full article
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Article
Rural in Town: Traditional Agriculture, Population Trends, and Long-Term Urban Expansion in Metropolitan Rome
Land 2020, 9(2), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9020053 - 12 Feb 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1288
Abstract
Mediterranean regions have experienced a shift from accelerated urban growth typical of a post-industrial phase to a more recent spatial delocalization of population and economic activities reflecting discontinuous settlement expansion, land take, and the abandonment of cultivated areas around central cities. On the [...] Read more.
Mediterranean regions have experienced a shift from accelerated urban growth typical of a post-industrial phase to a more recent spatial delocalization of population and economic activities reflecting discontinuous settlement expansion, land take, and the abandonment of cultivated areas around central cities. On the basis of a comprehensive analysis of land-use, settlement, and demographic indicators, the present study explores urban growth and population density over a sufficiently long time period in a metropolitan region of Southern Europe (Rome, Italy). Local-scale population trends were compared with the evolution of the primary sector (workers in agriculture, number of farms, cultivated land) between 1951 and 2011. Our results indicate non-linear growth waves alternating compact and discontinuous expansion shaping fringe land. The future development of metropolitan regions is increasingly dependent on the relationship between urban diffusion and economic viability of peri-urban agriculture. Crop abandonment and land take rates increase in local contexts where peri-urban agriculture rapidly declines. Policies managing ex-urban development and promoting the recovery of fringe soils are increasingly required to contain the expansion of dispersed settlements and preserve relict agricultural systems from land conversion to urban use. Full article
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Article
Quantifying the Effect of Land Use Change Model Coupling
Land 2020, 9(2), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9020052 - 12 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1017
Abstract
Land-use change (LUC) is a complex process that is difficult to project. Model collaboration, an aggregate term for model harmonization, comparison and/or coupling, intends to combine the strengths of different models to improve LUC projections. Several model collaborations have been performed, but to [...] Read more.
Land-use change (LUC) is a complex process that is difficult to project. Model collaboration, an aggregate term for model harmonization, comparison and/or coupling, intends to combine the strengths of different models to improve LUC projections. Several model collaborations have been performed, but to the authors’ knowledge, the effect of coupling has not been evaluated quantitatively. Therefore, for a case study of Brazil, we harmonized and coupled the partial equilibrium model GLOBIOM-Brazil and the demand-driven spatially explicit model PLUC, and then compared the coupled-model projections with those by GLOBIOM-Brazil individually. The largest differences between projections occurred in Mato Grosso and Pará, frontiers of agricultural expansion. In addition, we validated both projections for Mato Grosso using land-use maps from remote sensing images. The coupled model clearly outperformed GLOBIOM-Brazil. Reductions in the root mean squared error (RMSE) for LUC dynamics ranged from 31% to 80% and for total land use, from 10% to 57%. Only for pasture, the coupled model performed worse in total land use (RMSE 9% higher). Reasons for a better performance of the coupled model were considered to be, inter alia, the initial map, more spatially explicit information about drivers, and the path-dependence effect in the allocation through the cellular-automata approach of PLUC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Change Modelling)
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Article
Reconstruction of China’s Farmland Rights System Based on the ‘Trifurcation of Land Rights’ Reform
Land 2020, 9(2), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9020051 - 12 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 812
Abstract
With the aim of improving farmland use efficiency without damaging the social function of farmland, Chinese policymakers have proposed the ‘trifurcation of land rights’ reform. When it comes to realization of the law, however, neither the Ownership Model nor the Bundle of Sticks [...] Read more.
With the aim of improving farmland use efficiency without damaging the social function of farmland, Chinese policymakers have proposed the ‘trifurcation of land rights’ reform. When it comes to realization of the law, however, neither the Ownership Model nor the Bundle of Sticks Model can adequately explain this reform. The tree concept of property, which provides a new perspective in delineating property rights based on the function served by specific properties, is thus adopted. We find that this tree concept of property helps to better understand and realize the trifurcated rights on farmland in China. Also, a balance between the social and economic functions of farmland can be reached through reconstruction of the property rights involved, a process which comprises three steps: identification of the nature of the newly-established rights; configuration of the rights and duties of relevant entities; and state intervention in the enforcement of relevant rights with the aim of realizing certain social values. Finally, this paper argues that success of this trifurcated structure requires a systematic design of the Chinese Civil Code. In particular, it requests further improvements in legal rules on farmland lease. Full article
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Article
An Evolutionary Approach to Technology Innovation of Cadastre for Smart Land Management Policy
Land 2020, 9(2), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9020050 - 11 Feb 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1160
Abstract
In this study, we attempted to quantitatively determine the characteristics of keyword networks in the cadastre field using major contents of research drawn from international academic papers. Furthermore, we investigated the macroscopic evolution of cadastral research and examined its keyword network in detail [...] Read more.
In this study, we attempted to quantitatively determine the characteristics of keyword networks in the cadastre field using major contents of research drawn from international academic papers. Furthermore, we investigated the macroscopic evolution of cadastral research and examined its keyword network in detail (at a global scale) using semantic analysis. The analysis was carried out based on cadastral-research-related publications extracted from “Scopus” for 1987 to 2019. It was found that cadastre research has closely followed the recent trend of a growing interest in research on geospatial information and standardization. The results showed the advancement of technology innovation within the field of cadastres, as highlighted in the combination of relevant keywords (mostly from those related to spatial information technology and participation of civilians). These new issues are expected to drive the evolution of the academic scope in the future through synthesis with other fields for smart land management policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responsible and Smart Land Management)
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Article
Reducing Vulnerability to Desertification by Using the Spatial Measures in a Degraded Area in Thailand
Land 2020, 9(2), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9020049 - 10 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1194
Abstract
The process of desertification is complex, involving interaction between many factors, both environmental and anthropogenic. However, human activities, especially from land-use change and inappropriate land use, are the most influential factors associated with the desertification risk. This study was conducted in Huay Sai, [...] Read more.
The process of desertification is complex, involving interaction between many factors, both environmental and anthropogenic. However, human activities, especially from land-use change and inappropriate land use, are the most influential factors associated with the desertification risk. This study was conducted in Huay Sai, a degraded land in Thailand. The Environmentally Sensitive Area Index (ESAI) model incorporating Geogracphic Information System (GIS) was applied to investigate and map the desertification sensitivity area. The study aimed to analyze and assess measures to reduce the desertification risk. This study emphasized three group factors with nine subcriteria influencing desertification risk: soil (texture, fertility, drainage, slope gradient, and depth), climatic (precipitation and aridity index), and vegetation factors (land use and soil erosion). In terms of the required spatial measures to reduce the desertification vulnerability, policy and defensive measures that were closely related to drought and desertification of the area were considered. Three main measures covering soil and water conservation, soil improvement, and reforestation were implemented. The area development and restoration plans have been implemented continuously. The study found that 47.29% of the Huay Sai area was at a high risk, with a further 41.16% at a moderate risk. Implementation of three measures indicated that desertification risk was significantly decreased. Addressing the causes of the highest risk areas could help reduce the overall desertification risk at Huay Sai, where most areas would then be at either a moderate (61.04%) or low (32.43%) desertification risk with no severe- or high-risk areas. The success of the area restoration is from the formulation of a restoration and development plan that understands the local conditions. Moreover, the plan integrated the restoration of the soil, forests, and water together in order to restore the ecosystem so that the implementation was able to solve problems directly. Full article
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Article
Improving Infrastructure Installation Planning Processes using Procedural Modeling
Land 2020, 9(2), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9020048 - 10 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1006
Abstract
Time and costs are often the most critical constraints in implementing a development impact fee (DIF) for local infrastructure installation planning in South Korea. For this reason, drafting quality plan alternatives and calculating precise DIFs for improvement remain challenging. This study proposes an [...] Read more.
Time and costs are often the most critical constraints in implementing a development impact fee (DIF) for local infrastructure installation planning in South Korea. For this reason, drafting quality plan alternatives and calculating precise DIFs for improvement remain challenging. This study proposes an application of a procedural modeling method using CityEngine as an alternative to traditional methods, which rely on AutoCAD. A virtual low-density suburban development project in Jeju, South Korea was used to compare the workability of the two methods. The findings suggest that procedural modeling outperforms the other approach by significantly reducing the number of steps and commands required in the planning process. This paper also argues that procedural modeling provides real-time 2- and 3-dimensional modeling and design evaluation and allows for a more efficient assessment of plan quality and calculation of DIF. We also argue for the need to diffuse procedural modeling to better support local planning practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land, Innovation, and Social Good)
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Article
Protected Areas as a Center of Attraction for Visits from World Heritage Cities: Extremadura (Spain)
Land 2020, 9(2), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9020047 - 09 Feb 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 974
Abstract
Conservation of the environment has become a key factor in tourist development, as is shown by the increase in visitors to natural parks and other places with rich ecosystems. Protected areas have become polarised centers for tourists of very varied characteriztics, not only [...] Read more.
Conservation of the environment has become a key factor in tourist development, as is shown by the increase in visitors to natural parks and other places with rich ecosystems. Protected areas have become polarised centers for tourists of very varied characteriztics, not only for those who make them their main destination, but also for those who travel to nearby areas. This situation can be observed in Extremadura, where numerous tourists make the best use of their stay in the main centers of tourist attractions of the region to make local trips and thus get to know the most significant natural areas. These movements are being detected in varied aspects of demand, sometimes with little connection between the main and secondary motivation for the trip. We therefore consider a variable percentage of tourists visiting the main cultural destinations of Extremadura who use part of their stay to get to know protected areas. With the aim of structuring the research, we made a systematic study of tourists who spent the night in the cities of Cáceres and Mérida, which are World Heritage sites. During their stay, they visited prestigious natural places such as Monfragüe National Park, the Villuercas–Ibores–Jara Geopark, the Tajo Internacional Nature Reserve, and the Garganta de los Infiernos Nature Reserve. This information was obtained by carrying out surveys, which allowed us to determine the attraction capacity of each protected area by applying a network analysis. The results reflect a heterogeneous type of visitor who travels to the most appreciated areas following guidelines marked by the time of the year, his/her preferences, and the duration of his/her trip. Full article
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Article
Analysis of Land-Use Change between 2012–2018 in Europe in Terms of Sustainable Development
Land 2020, 9(2), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9020046 - 08 Feb 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1323
Abstract
This article presents methodology of land use change assessment in the context of sustainable development and the results of its application based on the transformations that occurred in individual areas of Europe in the years 2012–2018. This method is based on data from [...] Read more.
This article presents methodology of land use change assessment in the context of sustainable development and the results of its application based on the transformations that occurred in individual areas of Europe in the years 2012–2018. This method is based on data from the CORINE (CO-oRdination of INformation on Environment) Land Cover program) and local government units presenting the degree of urbanization (DEGURBA). The transformations taking place in space were evaluated and reduced to economic, social, and environmental dimensions. We then analyzed the results in terms of space (covering almost all of Europe) and in terms of division (large cities, small towns, suburbs, and rural areas). Results indicate that development of the economic dimension most often takes place at the expense of natural resources. It was also determined that the higher the population density, the greater the sustainable development differentiation level in the analyzed dimensions, of which the social dimension was characterized by the lowest differentiation and the economic dimension was highest. The development of rural areas was found to be less sustainable than large urban centers. Interpretation of the results also leads to the conclusion that areas of Europe are very diverse in terms of sustainable development. However, the method itself, despite the imperfections observed by the authors, may be used in further or similar studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring Land Cover Change: Towards Sustainability)
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Article
Analysis of Super-Gentrification Dynamic Factors Using Interpretative Structure Modeling
Land 2020, 9(2), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9020045 - 08 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1002
Abstract
The driving force of super-gentrification shapes a complex system in which multiple dynamic factors interact with each other. This paper takes the dynamic factor system of super-gentrification as the research object and uses the Interpretative Structure Modeling (ISM) to analyze these dynamic factors. [...] Read more.
The driving force of super-gentrification shapes a complex system in which multiple dynamic factors interact with each other. This paper takes the dynamic factor system of super-gentrification as the research object and uses the Interpretative Structure Modeling (ISM) to analyze these dynamic factors. The levels of these dynamic factors and the interaction between them are determined. The Cross Impact Matrix Multiplication Applied to a Classification (MICMAC) analysis is also conducted to determine the dependence power and driving power of these dynamic factors. Through analysis, it is concluded that the dynamic factors of super-gentrification are distributed on six levels. Among these dynamic factors, Transformation of Industrial Structure and Occupational Structure in Urban Central Areas, Housing Needs of Overseas Elites, Investment Needs, Development of the Real Estate Market, and Unique Areas and Lifestyle Preferences are the fundamental dynamic factors affecting super-gentrification. The findings of this paper can enrich the existing theoretical research on the driving force of super-gentrification and can provide a reference for policy makers to promote urban landscape sustainability to some extent. Full article
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Article
Towards Resilient Regions: Policy Recommendations for Stimulating Synergy between Tourism and Landscape
Land 2020, 9(2), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9020044 - 07 Feb 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1447
Abstract
To make regions more resilient, a useful idea is that of synergy between tourism and landscape (i.e., a win-win situation). To help policymakers manage for synergy, we provide practical recommendations. Using the case of Terschelling (the Netherlands), an island that is part of [...] Read more.
To make regions more resilient, a useful idea is that of synergy between tourism and landscape (i.e., a win-win situation). To help policymakers manage for synergy, we provide practical recommendations. Using the case of Terschelling (the Netherlands), an island that is part of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Wadden Sea, we analyzed how policy and public opinion have been changing, and how multilevel governance is arranged. We recommend that: policymakers seek to understand the historical institutional context of a region; strive for integrated policy aimed at synergetic interactions; gain an overview of all stakeholders in the decision-making process; include all stakeholders; develop a shared story; co-create a clear vision for the future; but also allow flexibility in local implementation; and dare to experiment. Overall, we conclude that synergy is a promising concept that requires a different approach to decision-making. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape and Tourism, Landscapes of Tourism)
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How Effective Is Spatial Planning for Cropland Protection? An Assessment Based on Land-Use Scenarios
Land 2020, 9(2), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9020043 - 07 Feb 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 913
Abstract
Spatial planning plays an important role in cropland protection, but its effectiveness is often questioned in the face of ongoing urban and infrastructure growth. Moreover, methods to assess the effectiveness of spatial planning are lacking. In Switzerland, the revision of the national spatial [...] Read more.
Spatial planning plays an important role in cropland protection, but its effectiveness is often questioned in the face of ongoing urban and infrastructure growth. Moreover, methods to assess the effectiveness of spatial planning are lacking. In Switzerland, the revision of the national spatial planning act in 2014 was a new starting point for stricter prescriptions on urban development. We assessed whether the new regulations would better protect dedicated prime cropland from conversion to urban areas using land-use suitability models and land-use scenarios. The findings show that with the planning according to the revised planning act, the potential consumption of prime cropland for new urban areas is six times smaller than that occurring through extrapolation of the observed trend in urban development over the past 25 years. However, scenario modeling suggests that, still, more prime cropland will be converted into urban areas than necessary, and that it may be difficult to protect prime cropland to the extent mandated by the Swiss prime cropland protection policy. We have developed an approach to a priori evaluate spatial planning measures. However, the strict implementation of these planning measures will be needed in order to maintain prime cropland to a level required for agricultural self-sufficiency and food security. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Urban Contexts and Urban-Rural Interactions)
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Article
Economic Comparison between Pasture-Based Beef Production and Afforestation of Abandoned Land in Swedish Forest Districts
Land 2020, 9(2), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9020042 - 03 Feb 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2567
Abstract
Large areas of agricultural land have been abandoned or are at risk of being abandoned such as small scattered fields and pastures in forest-dominated landscapes are unsuitable for modern mechanized agriculture and cost-efficient grazing. These areas have therefore become unprofitable to cultivate and [...] Read more.
Large areas of agricultural land have been abandoned or are at risk of being abandoned such as small scattered fields and pastures in forest-dominated landscapes are unsuitable for modern mechanized agriculture and cost-efficient grazing. These areas have therefore become unprofitable to cultivate and graze. Spruce planting has been seen as the obvious alternative on these lands but is today questioned from landscape points of view. Now most abandoned land is left for natural afforestation. This study aims to compare the profitability in use of abandoned or marginal agricultural land in Swedish forest districts for spruce planting, natural birch afforestation, or organic beef cattle grazing large pasture-forest mosaics. The pastures consist of remaining semi-natural pastures, abandoned and marginal agricultural land, and adjacent forest land. Calculations of contribution to land, management, and risk suggest that, given present supports and environmental payments, organic beef production with herds of more than 20 suckler cows in large pasture-forest mosaics could be more profitable than forestry, except for in the most fertile areas of southern Sweden, where spruce planting has the highest contribution. Future tree breeding progress and possible decrease of livestock-related support and environmental payments would however increase the competitiveness of resumed afforestation relative to beef production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Land Abandonment: Patterns, Drivers and Consequences)
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Article
The Changing Structure and Concentration of Agricultural Land Holdings in Estonia and Possible Threat for Rural Areas
Land 2020, 9(2), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9020041 - 02 Feb 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1603
Abstract
In most European countries, there has been a decrease in the number of farms, while the area of agricultural land has remained almost the same. This ongoing process of land concentration can affect Europe’s small farms and rural areas. The EU has acknowledged [...] Read more.
In most European countries, there has been a decrease in the number of farms, while the area of agricultural land has remained almost the same. This ongoing process of land concentration can affect Europe’s small farms and rural areas. The EU has acknowledged that the problem is serious and that, to solve it, it must be studied more closely. Accordingly, the aim of this study is to discuss changes in the agricultural sector from the aspect of land use, with emphasis on land concentration in Estonia, further scientific discussion about the effects of changes in land use on rural areas is encouraged. The study is carried out using two kinds of data sources: (1) statistical data from Eurostat, FAOSTAT and Statistics Estonia, (2) data from the Estonian Agricultural Registers and Information Board. The conclusion of the paper is that while the number of farms is going down, the average area of agricultural land use per farm is on the rise in Estonia. Agricultural land has been increasingly concentrated into the hands of corporate bodies. This study shows that there is a status of land concentration in Estonia that needs ongoing studies and a proper policy should be established to mitigate the impact of land concentration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land, Women, Youths, and Land Tools or Methods)
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Review
Urban Greenways: A Systematic Review and Typology
Land 2020, 9(2), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9020040 - 01 Feb 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1968
Abstract
Greenways are multifunctional linear landscapes that provide a range of socio-ecological benefits. As a domain of landscape planning research, greenways gained traction in the late 20th century and today, there is substantial interest in greenway planning and design. This is especially true in [...] Read more.
Greenways are multifunctional linear landscapes that provide a range of socio-ecological benefits. As a domain of landscape planning research, greenways gained traction in the late 20th century and today, there is substantial interest in greenway planning and design. This is especially true in urban areas, as noted at the sixth Fábos Conference on Landscape and Greenway Planning. Yet, cities encompass biophysical flows, sociopolitical relationships, and formal structures that are distinct from non-urban areas and urban greenways may reflect an evolving type of landscape planning and design that is related to but distinct from greenways writ large. To the best of our knowledge, there has been no previous review of scholarship on greenways in an urban context. We address the aforementioned gaps by reporting on a systematic assessment of peer-reviewed literature. The review encompasses 52 refereed articles using the term “urban greenway” or “urban greenways” in the title, abstract, or keywords drawn from three prominent academic databases. Our analysis covers seven research categories, and this undergirds a typology and definition of urban greenways. In so doing, we seek to illuminate typical traits of urban greenways to inform future landscape planning scholarship and practice. Full article
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Article
Mineral Soil Texture–Land Cover Dependency on Microwave Dielectric Models in an Arid Environment
Land 2020, 9(2), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9020039 - 01 Feb 2020
Viewed by 735
Abstract
In this study, we measured and characterized the relative dielectric constant of mineral soils over the 0.3–3.0 frequency range, and compared our measurements with values of three dielectric constant simulation models (the Wang, Dobson, and Mironov models). The interrelationship between land cover and [...] Read more.
In this study, we measured and characterized the relative dielectric constant of mineral soils over the 0.3–3.0 frequency range, and compared our measurements with values of three dielectric constant simulation models (the Wang, Dobson, and Mironov models). The interrelationship between land cover and soil texture with respect to the dielectric constant was also investigated. Topsoil samples (0–10 cm) were collected from homogenous areas based on a land unit map of the study site, located in the Gamsar Plain in northern Iran. The field soil samples were then analyzed in the laboratory using a dielectric probe toolkit to measure the soil dielectric constant. In addition, we analyzed the behaviors of the dielectric constant of the soil samples under a variety of moisture content and soil fraction conditions (after oven-drying the field samples), with the goal of better understanding how these factors affect microwave remote sensing backscattering characteristics. Our laboratory dielectric constant measurements of the real part (ε′) of the frequency dependence between the factors showed the best agreement with the results obtained by the Mironov, Dobson, and Wang models, respectively, but our laboratory measurements of the imaginary part (ε″) did not respond well and showed a higher value in low frequency because of salinity impacts. All data were analyzed by integrating them with other geophysical data in GIS, such as land cover and soil textures. The result of the dielectric constant properties analysis showed that land cover influences the moisture condition, even within the same soil texture type. Full article
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Article
Coupled Relationship between Rural Livelihoods and the Environment at a Village Scale: A Case Study in the Mongolian Plateau
Land 2020, 9(2), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9020038 - 31 Jan 2020
Viewed by 829
Abstract
Rural livelihoods, which are basic human activities, have long interacted with the environment. In light of the complexity of the human–environment system, more interdisciplinary analyses from geographical, environmental, and social sciences are needed. Using qualitative and quantitative methods from social, environmental, and geographical [...] Read more.
Rural livelihoods, which are basic human activities, have long interacted with the environment. In light of the complexity of the human–environment system, more interdisciplinary analyses from geographical, environmental, and social sciences are needed. Using qualitative and quantitative methods from social, environmental, and geographical sciences, this study conducted a geographical regionalization and a comparative analysis of rural livelihoods in different zones in the Loess Plateau to explore the relationship between rural livelihoods and the environment. The results indicated that rural livelihoods are tightly coupled with the environment on a village scale, showing significant geographical regularity and spatial disparity. A combination of geographical location, resource endowment, and environmental sanitation affects rural livelihoods in terms of spatial patterns, development capacity, and quality of life in the context of the public ownership system, the utilization policy of land resources, and limited technical conditions. Coupling the relationship between rural livelihoods and a given environment on a village scale tends to lead to one of four types of relationships: “homeostatic”, “intense”, “transferred”, or “optimized”. Accordingly, governments and policymakers need to consider that countryside revitalization must be locally tailored and implemented through the four aspects of “rights revitalization”, “labor revitalization”, “industrial revitalization”, and “environmental revitalization”. Full article
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Article
Assessing Changes in Ecosystem Service Values over 1985–2050 in Response to Land Use and Land Cover Dynamics in Abaya-Chamo Basin, Southern Ethiopia
Land 2020, 9(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9020037 - 27 Jan 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1736
Abstract
This study evaluated the effect of Land Use and Land Cover (LULC) dynamics on the value of ecosystem services in Abaya-Chamo basin over 1985–2050. The main objectives of the study were to estimate the value of ecosystem services of Abaya-Chamo basin using local [...] Read more.
This study evaluated the effect of Land Use and Land Cover (LULC) dynamics on the value of ecosystem services in Abaya-Chamo basin over 1985–2050. The main objectives of the study were to estimate the value of ecosystem services of Abaya-Chamo basin using local and global ecosystem service value coefficients, assess how it changes over time, and develop tools to inform policy and public decision-making to protect lands and waters in the region. The study utilized observed (1985 and 2010) and predicted (2030 and 2050) LULC datasets and ecosystem service value coefficients obtained from publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals. The results indicated that the total ecosystem service value of Abaya-Chamo basin was 12.13 billion USD in 1985 and 12.45 billion USD in 2010. The value is predicted to increase to 12.47 billion USD by the year 2050, which is 2.84% (344.5 million USD) higher than the total value of ecosystem services of the basin in 1985. Although the total ecosystem service value of the basin showed a slight increase over the study period, it was observed that the total value of services obtained from natural ecosystems is expected to decline by 36.24% between 1985 and 2050. The losses of services obtained from natural ecosystems, such as water regulation and erosion control, are major concern as the consequence has already been reported in the basin in the form of reduced water quality and productivity of the lakes due to an increased soil erosion and sediment transport in the basin. Therefore, special attention should be given to the rehabilitation of degraded ecosystems and the protection of remaining natural vegetation and water bodies to enhance natural capital and ecosystem services in the basin. A large-scale dissemination of eco-agricultural land use practices, which provide multiple ecosystem services (such as agroforestry and heterogeneous agricultural areas) in the basin, needs to be considered in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring the Relationships between Land Use and Ecosystem Services)
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Article
Peacebuilding in Rural Colombia—A Collective Perception of the Integrated Rural Reform (IRR) in the Department of Caquetá (Amazon)
Land 2020, 9(2), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9020036 - 25 Jan 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1724
Abstract
The 2016 peace agreement between the Government of Colombia and the FARC-EP created institutional space for an effective implementation of needed rural reforms. However, the change of power structures also contains risks, like the deterioration of natural resources and the strengthening of other [...] Read more.
The 2016 peace agreement between the Government of Colombia and the FARC-EP created institutional space for an effective implementation of needed rural reforms. However, the change of power structures also contains risks, like the deterioration of natural resources and the strengthening of other armed groups. By addressing collective perceptions regarding the Integrated Rural Reform (IRR), this paper shows the consequences of the peace agreement for the rural population in the department of Caquetá. Additionally, it presents the main challenges for further departmental development. The case study approach uses both semi-structured expert interviews of rural development stakeholders in different sectors based on three sampling strands, as well as participatory observation in the field. The main findings show an increase of general physical security and (economic) interest in the department since the signing of the agreement, while the deforestation rate, homicides, and threats against social-environmental leaders were all highly increased. The study also derives recommendations of departmental actors in rural development for a more effective peace implementation process, like the change from cattle driven to a more conservational economy with agri-silviculture and ecotourism, led by local civil society. To create a stable peace, it is crucial that the current government effectively implements the IRR, while also considering departmental perceptions of sustainable development. If the implementation process and departmental recognition is not enforced sufficiently, then peace might only be possible at the cost of the Amazon and its nature. Full article
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Article
Role of Social Norms in Natural Resource Management: The Case of the Communal Land Distribution Program in Northern Ethiopia
Land 2020, 9(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9020035 - 25 Jan 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1180
Abstract
The increasing population pressure in the rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa has caused land degradation as well as an increase in the number of landless farmers. To promote a conservation-oriented utilization of communal lands and increase the livelihood of poor farmers, the Ethiopian [...] Read more.
The increasing population pressure in the rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa has caused land degradation as well as an increase in the number of landless farmers. To promote a conservation-oriented utilization of communal lands and increase the livelihood of poor farmers, the Ethiopian government introduced a program to distribute less-utilized communal lands to landless farmers. This study identified the social norms related to natural resource conservation that affect the participation in this program. Using data from 477 farmer households in northern Ethiopia, we estimated probit models with endogenous regressors for the determinants of social norms and their impacts on program participation. The results show that social norms related to conservation positively affect program participation. Regarding policy implication of the findings, an intervention to improve the social norms of local farmers leads to sustainable resource conservation without reducing intrinsic motivation of the local people. A conservation-oriented utilization of the communal lands would be more effective if the land distribution program was accompanied by other programs to improve the social norms in the villages. Full article
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Review
Impact of Agrochemicals on Soil Microbiota and Management: A Review
Land 2020, 9(2), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9020034 - 23 Jan 2020
Cited by 60 | Viewed by 5008
Abstract
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that in developing nations, there are three million cases of agrochemical poisoning. The prolonged intensive and indiscriminate use of agrochemicals adversely affected the soil biodiversity, agricultural sustainability, and food safety, bringing in long-term harmful effects on nutritional [...] Read more.
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that in developing nations, there are three million cases of agrochemical poisoning. The prolonged intensive and indiscriminate use of agrochemicals adversely affected the soil biodiversity, agricultural sustainability, and food safety, bringing in long-term harmful effects on nutritional security, human and animal health. Most of the agrochemicals negatively affect soil microbial functions and biochemical processes. The alteration in diversity and composition of the beneficial microbial community can be unfavorable to plant growth and development either by reducing nutrient availability or by increasing disease incidence. Currently, there is a need for qualitative, innovative, and demand-driven research in soil science, especially in developing countries for facilitating of high-quality eco-friendly research by creating a conducive and trustworthy work atmosphere, thereby rewarding productivity and merits. Hence, we reviewed (1) the impact of various agrochemicals on the soil microbial diversity and environment; (2) the importance of smallholder farmers for sustainable crop protection and enhancement solutions, and (3) management strategies that serve the scientific community, policymakers, and land managers in integrating soil enhancement and sustainability practices in smallholder farming households. The current review provides an improved understanding of agricultural soil management for food and nutritional security. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Restoring Degraded Lands to Attain UN-SDGs)
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Article
Socially-Tolerated Practices in Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Reporting: Discourses, Displacement, and Impoverishment
Land 2020, 9(2), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9020033 - 22 Jan 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1103
Abstract
Normative guidelines for addressing project-induced displacement and resettlement have been successful in coercing companies and practitioners to comply with international standards and local requirements. However, good practice has not always been effectively implemented, leading to reduced social wellbeing of people in local communities. [...] Read more.
Normative guidelines for addressing project-induced displacement and resettlement have been successful in coercing companies and practitioners to comply with international standards and local requirements. However, good practice has not always been effectively implemented, leading to reduced social wellbeing of people in local communities. We assess how the reciprocal relationships between institutional norms and practitioners’ situated perspectives about company-community interactions can improve social management practice. Drawing on Hajer and Versteeg’s method of environmental discourse analysis, discussions and storylines about a mining project in Mpumalanga in South Africa were assessed against contextualised discursive conventions in the mining industry. It was found that practitioners learn to manipulate legislative requirements, which ultimately perpetuates the impoverishment of project affected communities. The question is not whether or not practitioners understand the requirements of environmental and social management, but the extent to which such understandings are manipulated for corporate gain as opposed to social good. We consider practitioner rationalities about the purpose and function of environmental and social management, and how it is implemented. We suggest that practitioners and companies should construct positive aspirational identity perspectives about social management that would transcend from their current limited view (that achieving minimum compliance is sufficient) to aspiring to achieve better social development outcomes for all, especially the most disadvantaged. This requires a genuine commitment to obtaining and maintaining a social licence to operate, perspective transformation, a commitment to inclusiveness, and increased capacity for critical reflection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land, Land Use and Social Issues)
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Editorial
Land Governance from a Mobilities Perspective
Land 2020, 9(2), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9020032 - 21 Jan 2020
Viewed by 1008
Abstract
People have always been on the move, either in search for greener pastures, both figuratively and literally speaking, or in order to escape war, persecution, famine, or environmental hazard [...] Full article
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