Special Issue "Land, Environment, and Policy"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Chuanrong Zhang
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geography & Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering, University of Connecticut, 215 Glenbrook Rd., Unit 4148, Storrs, CT 06269, USA
Tel. 860-486-2610
Interests: Land cover and land use; Land Environment and Sustainability; Land Resources; GIS; Remote Sensing; Spatial Data Analysis
Dr. Mark Boyer
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geography & Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269, USA
Interests: public policy, globalization, climate change, global-local linkages
Dr. Weidong Li
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geography, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269, USA
Interests: geospatial statistics and computation; resource and environmental informatics; environmental remote sensing
Dr. Shougeng Hu
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Department of Land Resource Management, China University of Geosciences (CUG), Wuhan 430074, China
Interests: land information science; land use evaluation; land use transition
Dr. Mingkai Qu
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Key Laboratory of Soil Environment and Pollution Remediation, Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China
Interests: geoinformatics (GIS); geostatistics; regional soil and environmental modeling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Humanity is reliant upon land resources for the provision of food, energy, water, and ecosystem services. Understanding land resources, land use, their relationships with environment, and related policies is vital for addressing a range of contemporary environmental issues and land management issues, such as biodiversity loss, food security, land/soil degradation, land transition, climate change, and land use optimization. Despite its importance, large knowledge gaps related to land-environment-policy relationships exist. This Special Issue will assemble researches that present innovative methods, novel data analysis, application case studies, and insights that can improve our understanding to land-environment-policy relationships as well as related policies for sustainable land use.

In this Special Issue, we invite papers focusing on, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • modeling interactions between lands and environmental systems;
  • evaluating land use and environmental policies, as well as their influences on land use and environmental outcomes;
  • mapping impacts of environmental pollution and human activities on land sustainability;
  • modeling/mapping land use spatiotemporal change;
  • developing land and environmental management systems.

Dr. Chuanrong (Cindy) Zhang
Dr. Mark Boyer
Dr. Weidong Li
Dr. Shougeng Hu
Dr. Mingkai Qu
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 1000 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.

Published Papers (9 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Other

Open AccessArticle
The Uneven Influence of Climate Trends and Agricultural Policies on Maize Production in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
Land 2018, 7(3), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/land7030080 - 26 Jun 2018
Abstract
Maize is an important staple crop in Mexico, and the recent intensification of climate variability, in combination with non-climatic forces, has hindered increases in production, especially for smallholder farmers. This article demonstrates the influence of these drivers on maize production trends in the [...] Read more.
Maize is an important staple crop in Mexico, and the recent intensification of climate variability, in combination with non-climatic forces, has hindered increases in production, especially for smallholder farmers. This article demonstrates the influence of these drivers on maize production trends in the three states of the Yucatan Peninsula using a mixed methods approach of climatic analysis and semi-structured interviews. Climate trend analysis and generalized additive models (GAMs) demonstrate relationships between production and climatic variability, using 1980-2010 precipitation and temperature data. Data from forty interviews with government officials and representatives of farmers' associations (gathered in 2015 and 2016) highlight the influence of agricultural policy on maize production in the region. The climate trend analysis yielded mixed results, with a statistically significant negative rainfall trend for Quintana Roo and variability in maximum temperature changes across the region, with an increase in Yucatan State and Quintana Roo and a decrease in Campeche. Climate and production GAMs indicate a strong significant relationship between production and climate fluctuations for Campeche (79%) and Quintana Roo (72%) and a weaker significant relationship for the Yucatan State (31%). Informants identified precipitation variability and ineffective public policies for smallholder agricultural development as primary obstacles for maize production, including inadequate design of agricultural programs, inconsistent agricultural support, and ineffective farmers' organizations. Quantifying the influence of climate change on maize production, and the amplifying influence of national and regional agricultural policy for smallholder farmers, will inform more appropriate policy design and implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land, Environment, and Policy)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Towards a Simpler Characterization of Urban Sprawl across Urban Areas in Europe
Land 2018, 7(1), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/land7010033 - 09 Mar 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Urban sprawl is a concept commonly used to describe the physical expansion of urban areas. It is traditionally associated with lower residential density, poorer connectivity, and higher energy costs for heating and transport. From the period of 1980 to 2000, the extent of [...] Read more.
Urban sprawl is a concept commonly used to describe the physical expansion of urban areas. It is traditionally associated with lower residential density, poorer connectivity, and higher energy costs for heating and transport. From the period of 1980 to 2000, the extent of the built-up area in Europe has increased at a rate three times higher than that of population increase, and urban sprawl is now recognized as a major challenge. However, for policies to address this issue, it is essential to be able to identify and quantify sprawl. Yet, there is no internationally agreed upon definition of what constitutes sprawl, nor is there an agreed upon methodology on how to measure and define it in a quantitative manner. This paper describes an attempt at characterizing urban sprawl across urban areas at a pan European scale by presenting a new indicator, the Averaged Concentric Weighted Urban Proliferation (ACWUP) index. This index is calculated by aggregating the “sprawl profile” of urban areas, derived from an adapted version of the Weighted Urban Proliferation (WUP) index and applied to EU28-wide, 100 m resolution gridded population and land-use data. In comparison to other approaches, the proposed indicator (1) is data cheap and quick to produce, and (2) provides a unique synthetic value that characterizes the sprawl status of individual cities. We believe this indicator and its associated sprawl profile could be used as a first-pass approximation that characterizes and compares urban sprawl across cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land, Environment, and Policy)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Improving Object-Based Land Use/Cover Classification from Medium Resolution Imagery by Markov Chain Geostatistical Post-Classification
Land 2018, 7(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/land7010031 - 07 Mar 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Land use/land cover maps derived from remotely sensed imagery are often insufficient in quality for some quantitative application purposes due to a variety of reasons such as spectral confusion. Although object-based classification has some advantages over pixel-based classification in identifying relatively homogeneous land [...] Read more.
Land use/land cover maps derived from remotely sensed imagery are often insufficient in quality for some quantitative application purposes due to a variety of reasons such as spectral confusion. Although object-based classification has some advantages over pixel-based classification in identifying relatively homogeneous land use/cover areas from medium resolution remotely sensed images, the classification accuracy is usually still relatively low. In this study, we aimed to test whether the recently proposed Markov chain random field (MCRF) post-classification method, that is, the spectral similarity-enhanced MCRF co-simulation (SS-coMCRF) model, can effectively improve object-based land use/cover classifications on different landscapes. Four study areas (Cixi, Yinchuan and Maanshan in China and Hartford in USA) with different landscapes and classification schemes were chosen for case studies. Expert-interpreted sample data (0.087% to 0.258% of total pixels) were obtained for each study area from the original Landsat images used in object-based pre-classification and other sources (e.g., Google satellite imagery). Post-classification results showed that the overall classification accuracies of the four cases were obviously improved over the corresponding pre-classification results by 14.1% for Cixi, 5% for Yinchuan, 11.8% for Maanshan and 5.6% for Hartford, respectively. At the meantime, SS-coMCRF also reduced the noise and minor patches contained in pre-classifications. This means that the Markov chain geostatistical post-classification method is capable of improving the accuracy and quality of object-based land use/cover classification from medium resolution remotely sensed imagery in various landscape situations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land, Environment, and Policy)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Assessing the Sustainability of EU Timber Consumption Trends: Comparing Consumption Scenarios with a Safe Operating Space Scenario for Global and EU Timber Supply
Land 2017, 6(4), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/land6040084 - 02 Dec 2017
Cited by 1
Abstract
The growing demand for wood to meet EU renewable energy targets has increasingly come under scrutiny for potentially increasing EU import dependence and inducing land use change abroad, with associated impacts on the climate and biodiversity. This article builds on research accounting for [...] Read more.
The growing demand for wood to meet EU renewable energy targets has increasingly come under scrutiny for potentially increasing EU import dependence and inducing land use change abroad, with associated impacts on the climate and biodiversity. This article builds on research accounting for levels of primary timber consumption—e.g., toward forest footprints—and developing reference values for benchmarking sustainability—e.g., toward land use targets—in order to improve systemic monitoring of timber and forest use. Specifically, it looks at future trends to assess how current EU policy may impact forests at an EU and global scale. Future demand scenarios are based on projections derived and adapted from the literature to depict developments under different scenario assumptions. Results reveal that by 2030, EU consumption levels on a per capita basis are estimated to be increasingly disproportionate compared to the rest of the world. EU consumption scenarios based on meeting around a 40% share of the EU renewable energy targets with timber would overshoot both the EU and global reference value range for sustainable supply capacities in 2030. Overall, findings support literature pointing to an increased risk of problem shifting relating to both how much and where timber needed for meeting renewable energy targets is sourced. It is argued that a sustainable level of timber consumption should be characterized by balance between supply (what the forest can provide on a sustainable basis) and demand (how much is used on a per capita basis, considering the concept of fair shares). To this end, future research should close data gaps, increase methodological robustness and address the socio-political legitimacy of the safe operating space concept towards targets in the future. A re-use of timber within the economy should be supported to increase supply options. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land, Environment, and Policy)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Impact of the Household Registration System on Farmers’ Rural Housing Land Use Decisions in China
Land 2017, 6(4), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/land6040075 - 30 Oct 2017
Cited by 1
Abstract
By using the difference-in-difference method and introducing control variables, this study investigates the effect of the household registration system (hukou) on farmers’ willingness to transfer rural housing land based on survey data of farmers in Chongqing and Wuhan, China. The results [...] Read more.
By using the difference-in-difference method and introducing control variables, this study investigates the effect of the household registration system (hukou) on farmers’ willingness to transfer rural housing land based on survey data of farmers in Chongqing and Wuhan, China. The results show that the effect of household registration system reform is significant at the 1% level, which indicates that household registration system reform significantly influences farmers’ willingness to transfer rural housing land in the experimental area, leading to an increase in the share of farmers willing to transfer such land by 37%. In areas with greater efforts to reform the household registration system, farmers are more willing to transfer rural housing land. Moreover, the per capita non-farm income of rural households and compensation standard have a significantly positive correlation with farmers’ willingness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land, Environment, and Policy)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Understanding Pollinator Habitat Conservation under Current Policy Using Economic Experiments
Land 2017, 6(3), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/land6030057 - 24 Aug 2017
Cited by 3
Abstract
Pollinators provide critical ecosystems services vital to the production of numerous crops in the United States’ agricultural sector. However, the U.S. is witnessing a serious decline in the abundance and diversity of domestic and wild pollinators, which threatens U.S. food security. In response, [...] Read more.
Pollinators provide critical ecosystems services vital to the production of numerous crops in the United States’ agricultural sector. However, the U.S. is witnessing a serious decline in the abundance and diversity of domestic and wild pollinators, which threatens U.S. food security. In response, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has created the Pollinator Habitat Initiative (CP-42) to induce landowners to create quality habitat for pollinators by planting beneficial crops and wildflowers on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)-eligible land. Landowners’ potential conservation decisions under CP-42 and the resulting impact on land use decisions regarding crop production are not well-understood. We examine these issues by designing an economic experiment that simulates landowners’ decisions to enroll in CP-42. As our motivating example, we focus on how CP-42 might affect crop production patterns and the resulting returns in Goshen County, Wyoming. The results indicate that about 16% of CRP-eligible land would be enrolled. Based on the relatively low CP-42 payment, our subjects remove only lower value crops from production. Our results suggest that (1) all dry wheat and sunflower production and a portion of barley, corn, and dry beans could be taken out of production when transferred to pollinator habitat, and (2) that habitat fragmentation would likely occur, which would reduce the efficacy of pollination. Overall, our results suggest that there are significant limits to the overall effectiveness of the CP-42 policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land, Environment, and Policy)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Status of National Legal Frameworks for Valuing Compensation for Expropriated Land: An Analysis of Whether National Laws in 50 Countries/Regions across Asia, Africa, and Latin America Comply with International Standards on Compensation Valuation
Land 2017, 6(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/land6020037 - 01 Jun 2017
Cited by 6
Abstract
The challenges associated with determining fair compensation for expropriated land have been extensively discussed and debated among scholars, practitioners, policymakers, and the public. However, to date, a comprehensive study of national-level compensation procedures established by law considering whether such procedures meet internationally recognized [...] Read more.
The challenges associated with determining fair compensation for expropriated land have been extensively discussed and debated among scholars, practitioners, policymakers, and the public. However, to date, a comprehensive study of national-level compensation procedures established by law considering whether such procedures meet internationally recognized standards on compensation valuation has not been conducted. This article aims to bridge this gap by serving as a reference point and informing “fair compensation” debates among scholars, practitioners, and policymakers. This article examines national-level legal provisions on compensation in 50 countries/regions across Asia, Africa, and Latin America against a set of legal indicators that are based on international standards on the valuation of compensation. The legal indicators focus on the substantive and procedural requirements pertaining to the calculation of compensation. The indicators ask whether laws require assessors to account for various land values when calculating compensation, and whether there are legal processes in place that allow affected persons to negotiate compensation amounts, receive prompt payments, and hold governments accountable by appealing compensation decisions in courts or before tribunals. The results of the study show that most of the 50 countries/regions assessed do not have national laws that comply with internationally recognized standards on the valuation of compensation. Based on the findings from the legal indicator analysis, this paper presents a set of recommendations for reforming compensation procedures to bring them into conformity with international standards. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land, Environment, and Policy)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Spatial and Temporal Characteristics of Road Networks and Urban Expansion
Land 2017, 6(2), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/land6020030 - 28 Apr 2017
Cited by 2
Abstract
Urban expansion has become a widespread trend in developing countries. Road networks are an extremely important factor driving the expansion of urban land and require further study. To investigate the relationship between road networks and urban expansion, we selected Beijing, New York, London, [...] Read more.
Urban expansion has become a widespread trend in developing countries. Road networks are an extremely important factor driving the expansion of urban land and require further study. To investigate the relationship between road networks and urban expansion, we selected Beijing, New York, London, and Chicago as study areas. First, we obtained urban land use vector data through image interpretation using a remote sensing (RS) and geographic information systems (GIS) platform and then used overlay analysis to extract information on urban expansion. A road network density map was generated using the density analysis tool. Finally, we conducted a spatial statistical analysis between road networks and urban expansion and then systematically analyzed their distribution features. In addition, the Urban Expansion-Road Network Density Model was established based on regression analysis. The results indicate that (1) the road network density thresholds of Beijing, New York, London, and Chicago are 18.9 km/km2, 37.8 km/km2, 57.0 km/km2, and 64.7 km/km2, respectively, and urban expansion has an inverted U-curve relationship with road networks when the road network density does not exceed the threshold; (2) the calculated turning points for urban expansion indicate that urban expansion initially accelerates with increasing road network density but then decreases after the turning point is reached; and (3) when the road density exceeds the threshold, urban areas cease to expand. The correlation between urban expansion and road network features provides an important reference for the future development of global cities. Understanding road network density offers some predictive capabilities for urban land expansion, facilitates the avoidance of irregular expansion, and provides new ideas for addressing the inefficient utilization of land. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land, Environment, and Policy)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Other

Jump to: Research

Open AccessCase Report
Investigation of Collapsed Building Incidents on Soft Marine Deposit: Both from Social and Technical Perspectives
Land 2018, 7(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/land7010020 - 01 Feb 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
A collapsed incident occurred on 10 October 2016 in Wenzhou City, China, which resulted in 22 casualties and 6 injuries. Most of victims were migrant laborers (rural dwellers who move to urban for a temporary work), who rented apartments in these residential buildings, [...] Read more.
A collapsed incident occurred on 10 October 2016 in Wenzhou City, China, which resulted in 22 casualties and 6 injuries. Most of victims were migrant laborers (rural dwellers who move to urban for a temporary work), who rented apartments in these residential buildings, which were originally constructed by local rural residents. This case report investigates the collapsed incident as well as other similar previous incidents. From the perspectives of both social and technical aspects, this report analyzed the Chinese rural land use policy with relevant technical factors. These incidents reveal social problems of the existing dual structure land-use policy in China. Chinese dual structure land-use policy caused deficiencies in the supervision of the construction market in rural area so that the following technical factors were not well supervised by the various quality control departments: (1) poorly quality of residential buildings, (2) unauthorized rooftop additions, and (3) differential settlement caused by the uneven distribution of underlying Wenzhou clay under creep conditions. Mandatory regulation by the government for any construction in China, particularly for the construction of self-constructed house building sites in rural areas, was recommended to minimize the resettlement issue of migrant workers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land, Environment, and Policy)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop