Special Issue "Land Perspectives: People, Tenure, Planning, Tools, Space, and Health"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X). This special issue belongs to the section "Land Socio-Economic and Political Issues".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Uchendu Eugene Chigbu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Land and Property Sciences, Namibia University of Science and Technology, Windhoek, Khomas 9000, Namibia
Interests: land methods; land-use/spatial planning; land tenure; land management; land administration; land governance/policy; rural/(peri)urban development; women’s land rights
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Ruishan Chen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Geographic Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
Interests: land use change, natural resource management, land use planning, environmental governance; rural-–urban interaction, social justice; disaster risk reduction; extreme events; sustainable development goals
Prof. Dr. Chao Ye
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Geographic Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
Interests: environment governance; production of space; land use and management; rural-urban interactions; sustainable development goals; gender issues; inequality
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Efficient land (including water and forest) administration practices are required to achieve many global development agendas—e.g., land degradation neutrality, New Urban Agenda, COP21, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and COVID-19 or Coronavirus pandemic challenges. It also helps to create a peaceful environment by eliminating social conflicts caused by poor land administration practices. Achieving these agendas requires an understanding of how land administration practices can impact people, property tenure, and health or wellbeing. Hence, there is a need to probe natural resources administration theories and tools.

Good land administration helps to secure property tenures. It also protects the land rights of people (including individuals, communities, and the state) through good governance principles and practices. Therefore, probing land administration practices—whether in developed or developing countries—is essential to developing tools or methods for securing natural resource rights for people, especially for youth and women. Understanding the land and health or wellbeing nexus is crucial for adequate living conditions for people in living urban, peri-urban, and rural areas. A broad knowledge gap exists on the land/water/forest–people–health–wellbeing nexus of natural resource administration research and practical tools.

This Special Issue presents insights on theories and practices on land administration in the context of land/water/forest–people–health–wellbeing nexus relationships. We, therefore, invite conceptual, case studies, field research, and review articles focusing on (but not limited to) the following themes:

  • Land administration and property sciences.
  • Urban and peri-urban land/water/forest administration.
  • Rural land administration.
  • Land/water/forest administration (including governance, policy, and management) approaches and their impacts on people’s wellbeing.
  • Administering land and natural resources to ensure social equity in developing countries.
  • Social conflicts related to land, water, forest, and other natural resources.
  • Consequences of COVID-19 or coronavirus for the global agenda on land and the environment.
  • Land administration in the context of women and youth land rights.
  • Spatial, regional and territorial planning.
  • Urban-rural land linkages.
  • Land tools for global change and local action.
  • Land/water/forest–people–health interconnectivity.
  • Responsible governance of tenure and societal transformations.
  • Tenure security and public health relations in human settlements.
  • Cases of land and health situations in the Global North and South.
  • Impact of pandemics on people’s land rights with a focus on progress so far.
  • Behavioral and social changes needed for the promotion of tenure security and healthy environmental situations; and
  • Emerging approaches to land administration challenges going forward.

Prof. Dr. Uchendu Eugene Chigbu
Prof. Dr. Ruishan Chen
Prof. Dr. Chao Ye
Guest Editors

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. Land 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 1800 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

  • COVID-19 and land
  • health
  • land administration
  • land/water/forest governance
  • land management
  • land policy
  • land tenure
  • land tools
  • natural resources
  • people
  • planning
  • property
  • space
  • wellbeing
  • women’s land rights
  • youth

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Article
Land-Use Change and Health Risks in the Process of Urbanization: A Spatiotemporal Interpretation of a Typical Case in Changzhou, China
Land 2021, 10(8), 820; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10080820 - 05 Aug 2021
Viewed by 400
Abstract
China has undergone rapid urban expansion in recent decades. At the same time, environmental pollution and its risk to public health have increased. However, the relationship between urban land-use changes and health is ambiguous and insufficiently understood. Based on a typical city-scale case—namely, [...] Read more.
China has undergone rapid urban expansion in recent decades. At the same time, environmental pollution and its risk to public health have increased. However, the relationship between urban land-use changes and health is ambiguous and insufficiently understood. Based on a typical city-scale case—namely, Changzhou, China—this research aimed to interpret the evolution of health risks alongside land-use change during the process of urbanization. We gathered data from multiple sources, including population mortality data, socioeconomic data, remote-sensing images, data for the points of interest of enterprises, and relevant information on environmental health events and cancers. The results showed that Changzhou’s urbanization was typical insofar as it was characterized by massive growth in industry, a rapid increase in the urban population, and urban land expansion. Health risks related to environmental pollution increased considerably with urban land expansion over time, and they increased with proximity to the pollution. The results from a generalized linear model confirmed that Changzhou’s urbanization triggered increasing health risks. Our study interpreted the relationship between urban land expansion and health risks from a spatiotemporal perspective. It can be used as a reference for urban planning and policymaking with regard to urban environmental health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Perspectives: People, Tenure, Planning, Tools, Space, and Health)
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Article
Values-Led Planning Approach in Spatial Development: A Methodology
Land 2021, 10(5), 461; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10050461 - 26 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 632
Abstract
The scope of land management, which includes spatial planning as an activity in the public domain, demands that a planning process that is based on publicly or societally acceptable values is a matter of necessity. This study proposes a methodology for introducing a [...] Read more.
The scope of land management, which includes spatial planning as an activity in the public domain, demands that a planning process that is based on publicly or societally acceptable values is a matter of necessity. This study proposes a methodology for introducing a values-led planning (VLP) approach in spatial development. The motivation of the study is to promote the embrace of assessed values in planning. The study draws from issues evoked in various topical studies on European comparative perspectives. By way of argumentation, the study makes three relevant contributions to the literature and spatial planning and development practice. First, it presents and discusses the essential elements required in the design of methodology. In this way, it figuratively depicts VLP as a consequence of interactions between four key elements of spatial planning. Second, it proposes an actual methodology for action. Third, it discusses the applicability of the methodology. The proposed methodology would be useful for planners, including public authorities, land managers, and community leaders, who make socio-spatial decisions in land management and related activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Perspectives: People, Tenure, Planning, Tools, Space, and Health)
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Article
Analyzing the Effects of Institutional Merger: Case of Cadastral Information Registration and Landholding Right Providing Institutions in Ethiopia
Land 2021, 10(4), 404; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10040404 - 13 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 604
Abstract
Strong national institutional arrangements in the geospatial information management are essential for successful implementation of sustainable land administration system. However, it is not only the existence of institutions but also their effectiveness that leads to the intended goals and reaching of objectives. There [...] Read more.
Strong national institutional arrangements in the geospatial information management are essential for successful implementation of sustainable land administration system. However, it is not only the existence of institutions but also their effectiveness that leads to the intended goals and reaching of objectives. There are international calls to merge highly related land administration institutions, yet Ethiopia executes two related land administration tasks (landholding right provision and cadastral registration) by two different institutions, the Urban Land Development and Management Bureau, and the Urban Land Adjudication and Information Registration Agency. Thus, the objective of this article is to analyze the effect of merging cadastral information registration and urban landholding right providing institutions lead to effective and strong national land institution. To achieve this, we had a qualitative approach analysis based on desk review and case study research methods. We conducted semi-structured interviews with the directors of the two institutions, and a group discussion with professional experts from both institutions. The findings of this study show that institutional merger between the two institutions believed to unravel the challenges of failing to achieve institutional goals. Although these institutions design strategic plans every year, the level of achievement or operational performance is low. The major cause for this problem is the poor coordination between the institutions. In view of this issue, we recommend merging the two institutions in one since it: reduces the effects of data duplication; provides one-window services; reduces operational costs; fills communication gaps among the staff; reduces time of operation; improves customer service; increases efficiency within processes; and provides a more efficient operation of land markets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Perspectives: People, Tenure, Planning, Tools, Space, and Health)
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Article
Digitization as a Driver fur Rural Development—An Indicative Description of German Coworking Space Users
Land 2021, 10(3), 326; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10030326 - 21 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1145
Abstract
Background: The urban-rural land divide is visible through where people choose to work. This article aims to detect how, where and why people use rural coworking spaces instead of or in addition to working in urban areas. Methods: The research relied on both [...] Read more.
Background: The urban-rural land divide is visible through where people choose to work. This article aims to detect how, where and why people use rural coworking spaces instead of or in addition to working in urban areas. Methods: The research relied on both documented evidence and a structured survey among users of coworking spaces. Results: We found that the choice of working in rural coworking spaces draws on certain benefits and opportunities for its users, such as avoiding social isolation, separating private and professional life, reducing the commuting. An additional benefit for rural towns and villages is that the presence of a coworking space can make the location more vital, lively and attractive. Conclusions (and recommendations): Coworking space could partially bridge the urban-rural land divide. However, understanding this requires more insights in the behavior of rural coworking space users. Further research could look into modelling cause-effect relations and predicting coworking user behavior and the effect on their environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Perspectives: People, Tenure, Planning, Tools, Space, and Health)
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Article
The Integration of New-Type Urbanization and Rural Revitalization Strategies in China: Origin, Reality and Future Trends
Land 2021, 10(2), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020207 - 18 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1141
Abstract
New-type urbanization and rural revitalization have gradually become national strategies, and are an objective requirement for China to be able to enter into a new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics and also an inevitable result of the integration of new-type urbanization and [...] Read more.
New-type urbanization and rural revitalization have gradually become national strategies, and are an objective requirement for China to be able to enter into a new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics and also an inevitable result of the integration of new-type urbanization and rural development in the new stage. This paper reviews the classic theories and cognition of the research on urban–rural relations at home and abroad, and outlines the stage evolution characteristics of urban–rural relations in China. It is believed that urban-biased urbanization has widened the development gap between urban and rural areas since reform and opening up. Under the guidance of the two strategies of new-type urbanization and rural revitalization, urban and rural areas have transitioned from “one-way flow” to “bilateral interaction”, and from “urban bias” to “urban–rural integration”. This paper puts forward a research framework and scientific issues regarding the integration of new-type urbanization and rural revitalization from multidisciplinary perspectives. The integration of these two major strategies will contribute to a new situation of the coordinated and high-quality development of urban and rural areas in the new era. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Perspectives: People, Tenure, Planning, Tools, Space, and Health)
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Article
Building on “Traditional” Land Dispute Resolution Mechanisms in Rural Ghana: Adaptive or Anachronistic?
Land 2021, 10(2), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020143 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 784
Abstract
Despite the ongoing land administration reforms being implemented across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), including Ghana, as a viable pathway to achieve tenure security and greater efficiency in land administration, the subject of land dispute resolution has received relatively less attention. Whereas customary tenure institutions [...] Read more.
Despite the ongoing land administration reforms being implemented across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), including Ghana, as a viable pathway to achieve tenure security and greater efficiency in land administration, the subject of land dispute resolution has received relatively less attention. Whereas customary tenure institutions play a central role in land administration (controlling ~80% of all land in Ghana), they remain at the fringes of the formal land dispute adjudicatory process. Recognising the pivotal role of traditional institutions as development agents and potential vehicles for promoting good land governance, recent discourses on land tenure have geared toward mainstreaming traditional land dispute institutions into the architecture of the formal judicial process via alternative dispute resolution pathways. Yet, little is known, at least empirically, as to the operations of traditional dispute resolution institutions in the contemporary context. This study therefore explores the importance of traditional dispute resolution institutions in the management of land-related disputes in southcentral and western Ghana, drawing on data collated from 380 farming households operating 746 plots. The results show that contrary to the conventional thinking that traditional institutions are anachronistic and not fit for purpose, they remain strong and a preferred forum for land dispute resolution (proving resilient and adaptable), given the changing socio-economic and tenurial conditions. Yet, these forums have differing implications for different actors within the customary spheres accessing them. The results highlight practical ways for incorporating traditional dispute resolution in the overall land governance setup in Ghana and elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa. This has implications for redesigning context-specific and appropriate land-use policy interventions that address local land dispute resolution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Perspectives: People, Tenure, Planning, Tools, Space, and Health)
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Article
Rural Development from a Gender Perspective: The Case of Women Farmers in Southern Spain
Land 2021, 10(1), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10010075 - 15 Jan 2021
Viewed by 650
Abstract
This article analyses the contribution to local development by women workers in the fruit- and vegetable-handling sector in Almería (Spain) over the last five years (2015–2019). It is a continuation of research carried out during the period 2000–2014. Using data collected through surveys [...] Read more.
This article analyses the contribution to local development by women workers in the fruit- and vegetable-handling sector in Almería (Spain) over the last five years (2015–2019). It is a continuation of research carried out during the period 2000–2014. Using data collected through surveys and focus groups, the aim is to ascertain if the results obtained in this analysis meet the condition of sustainability, i.e., whether the improvement in working women’s quality of life has been maintained over time, and whether these beneficial effects have multiplied. The results show that women workers in the fruit- and vegetable-handling sector are satisfied with their jobs and with the company they are working for. The existence of fixed-discontinuous employment contracts facilitates greater flexibility for women in terms of balancing work and family life. This main contribution of this study lies in extrapolating the sustainability of a local development model in regard to other initiatives that aim to increase women’s empowerment in the labour market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Perspectives: People, Tenure, Planning, Tools, Space, and Health)
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Article
Performance Evaluation of the Urban Cadastral System in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Land 2020, 9(12), 505; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9120505 - 09 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 731
Abstract
The cadastral system is a land management and land administration tool to provide a safe and reliable real property registration system. In Ethiopia, however, the attempts to implement a reliable urban cadastral system have not been successful, which translates into a deficient land [...] Read more.
The cadastral system is a land management and land administration tool to provide a safe and reliable real property registration system. In Ethiopia, however, the attempts to implement a reliable urban cadastral system have not been successful, which translates into a deficient land administration system. This paper is an evaluation of the performance of the urban cadastral system of Addis Ababa, based on the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) excellence model. The nine criteria of the model were used as independent and dependent variables. Data were collected through interviews, Likert-type questionnaires, and focus group discussions, and validated with method-to-method technique. Qualitative and quantitative data analysis techniques (ordinal logistics regression model) were employed. In order to ascertain reliability of the data, Cronbach’s alpha reliability test was performed in SPSS, and a coefficient of 0.883 was calculated, confirming that the items (questions) have relatively high internal consistency. According to the statistical result from the independent variables, the people result criteria estimated the achievement of cadastral organization at most (1.724). The societal result predicted with a coefficient of 0.281 less. This indicates that the people criterion determines more importantly than other variables. Overall, the independent variables scored the performance of the cadastral organization 24.92 out of 40 points. Findings from interviews and group discussion also confirmed that the most bottlenecks for the organizational achievement are the strategic plan, quality of leadership, bureaucratic processes, and supply of resources. Therefore, we suggest that the responsible authorities need to pay more attention to the enabler criteria (especially, the design of policy and strategy, quality of leadership, provision of resource and partnership, and the process), in order to improve the achievements of the urban cadastral system organization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Perspectives: People, Tenure, Planning, Tools, Space, and Health)
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Review

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Review
Land Tenure Security and Health Nexus: A Conceptual Framework for Navigating the Connections between Land Tenure Security and Health
Land 2021, 10(3), 257; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10030257 - 03 Mar 2021
Viewed by 873
Abstract
The rise of urban populations has rendered cities in both developed and developing countries vulnerable to poor health and diseases that are associated with urban living conditions and environments. Therefore, there is a growing consensus that while personal factors are critical in determining [...] Read more.
The rise of urban populations has rendered cities in both developed and developing countries vulnerable to poor health and diseases that are associated with urban living conditions and environments. Therefore, there is a growing consensus that while personal factors are critical in determining health, the urban environment exacerbates or mitigates health outcomes, and as such the solution for improving health outcomes in urban settings can be found in addressing socio-environmental factors that shape urban environments. Land tenure security is a social environmental factor of health that has been understudied by urban geographers despite its obvious role in shaping urban environments, housing conditions, and health. We interpret literature and infer possible pathways through which land tenure security connects to health and propose a land tenure security and health nexus conceptual framework for modeling and investigating the extent of this connection. Based on a narrative review of literature, this inter-disciplinary paper shows that land tenure security can influence health outcomes via four pathways—infrastructure access, environmental justice, psycho-ontological security, and social cohesion. Going forward, a subsequent investigation can focus on developing an index of land tenure security health insults, based on which an empirical investigation of the relationship between land tenure security and health disease is possible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Perspectives: People, Tenure, Planning, Tools, Space, and Health)
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