Special Issue "Sustainable Land Management and Land Tenure: Experiences for the Future"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 May 2022) | Viewed by 14159

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Walter T. De Vries
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Aerospace and Geodesy, Technical University Munich, Arcisstraße 21, 80333 München, Germany
Interests: land management; land administration; land use planning; cadastre; land information; organizational and institutional aspects of land management
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Pamela Durán Díaz
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Chair of Land Management, Technical University of Munich, Arcisstraße 21, 80333 München, Germany
Interests: transnational land governance; sustainable land and water management; anthropologies of water; cultural landscapes and (in)tangible heritage
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In both industrialized and developing countries, there is high demand for comprehensive policies, tools, and instruments in order to cope with the increasing globalization, climate change, and migration patterns, as well as with the cross-border nature of many land-related problems. As land is a limited resource, there is an urgent need to consolidate and exchange good practices of land governance and land policy around the world, which may be accommodated in different social and institutional contexts.

As land management policies prepare and assess interventions into land use, size, shapes, rights, tenure, and values, the purpose of this Special Issue is to invite academics and practitioners to describe their practical experiences and insights in this field. The aim is to share proposals that deal with managing the built environment, developing infrastructures, and using natural and human resources to develop creative, innovative, and sustainable solutions.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • capacity development in land management and land tenure;
  • experiences and best practices from land management projects from around the world;
  • policies for making land management practices responsible and sustainable;
  • strategies for sustainability in land planning processes;
  • challenging and/or successful land governance approaches;
  • evaluation methods and results to support land policy improvements; and
  • innovative land management tools.

Prof. Dr. Walter T. de Vries
Dr. Pamela Durán Díaz
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 2000 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

  • land management
  • land tenure
  • capacity development
  • sustainable land use

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Article
Neoliberal Urban Development vs. Rural Communities: Land Management Challenges in San Andrés Cholula, Mexico
Land 2022, 11(7), 1058; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11071058 - 12 Jul 2022
Viewed by 603
Abstract
Since the 1980s, the municipality of San Andrés Cholula, Puebla, has been a territory with constant clashes between its rural population and the official land use policy. In this context, the rural community and its millenary bio-cultural traditions have collided with neoliberal political [...] Read more.
Since the 1980s, the municipality of San Andrés Cholula, Puebla, has been a territory with constant clashes between its rural population and the official land use policy. In this context, the rural community and its millenary bio-cultural traditions have collided with neoliberal political and economic interests, new urbanism, and land speculation, commodification of local culture and privatization of the public space. The above-mentioned facts represent a challenge for sustainable land management of the territory and for socio-spatial justice, as a large portion of the land is becoming a private asset, meanwhile the large extension of rural land has been for communal use. The present work aims to discuss the processes triggered by neoliberal urban development logic in the area, and how these dynamics have affected the identity of the place, endangered its bio-cultural heritage and jeopardized the local communal right to the land. It will also examine the possibilities for a creation of a collaborative instrument to enhance the participation of the local community (or pueblos originarios—original people—as they identify themselves), in sustainable land management processes, in order to obtain a balance between the community, the public policy and the economic forces in urban development. Full article
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Article
Designing a Valuation System for Property Tax: The Case of Zanzibar, Tanzania
Land 2022, 11(7), 989; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11070989 - 29 Jun 2022
Viewed by 586
Abstract
In most African countries, property taxes fail to efficiently generate sufficient revenue to provide adequate local services. One of the crucial reasons for this is that market values are not reflected in the taxable value because of a lack of property transaction market [...] Read more.
In most African countries, property taxes fail to efficiently generate sufficient revenue to provide adequate local services. One of the crucial reasons for this is that market values are not reflected in the taxable value because of a lack of property transaction market data. When market data are inaccessible, buildings are evaluated using the replacement cost method, which does not reflect locational values. In this study, we examine methods to improve the valuation system using the case of Zanzibar, Tanzania. We recommend the simple and systematic mass assessment model, with details that can be used to derive locational values for all taxable buildings and improvements. In this model, (1) the taxable areas are divided into sub-regions based on land value stratification, (2) land value ranges are set for each sub-region, (3) land value determinants are identified, and (4) land price ratio tables for the identified land value determinants are created. In this assessment method, individual valuers play an essential role in capturing locational values because their knowledge and experience are helpful in dividing the area targeted for property tax assessment into several regions, thereby reducing the intraregional variance in land values. Improving the valuation system is one of the key factors in determining the importance of property tax as a revenue generator in developing countries. Full article
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Article
Combining Flood Risk Mitigation and Carbon Sequestration to Optimize Sustainable Land Management Schemes: Experiences from the Middle-Section of Hungary’s Tisza River
Land 2022, 11(7), 985; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11070985 - 28 Jun 2022
Viewed by 680
Abstract
The record floods experienced along the Tisza River between 1998 and 2001 brought a paradigm shift in infrastructural solutions for flood protection. A flood peak polder system was built for transient water storage without any substantial change in land use in the polders, [...] Read more.
The record floods experienced along the Tisza River between 1998 and 2001 brought a paradigm shift in infrastructural solutions for flood protection. A flood peak polder system was built for transient water storage without any substantial change in land use in the polders, despite the potential to do so under the new scheme. The recent improvement of quantified flood risk assessment methodologies and stronger foundations for the valuation of carbon sequestration benefits now provide more information on the magnitude of missed opportunities and the potential for comprehensive land use and flood risk management solutions. This paper evaluates and combines the results of three cost-benefit type analyses on the conflicting relations of pursuing flood risk mitigation and land management goals. Although the studies were conducted at different locations of the same river stretch, they are all inspected using the same flood waves. Results assert that as EU-CAP agricultural subsidies stabilize individual benefits from arable land use in the short-run, public benefits and long-term individual benefits fail to reach their potential value. The combined analysis of flood risk change and CO2 sequestration provides the economic rationale for the ecological revitalization along rivers with flood peak polders, helping to solve the conflict between hydrological and ecological objectives in floodplains. Capitalizing the value of the community benefits of forests in terms of CO2 sequestration is limited by the unresolved property rights allocation of this natural capacity between landowners and the state, the latter being responsible for fulfilling international CO2 reduction agreements; this uncertain legal background is an obstacle to the creation of sustainable economic conditions for the development and expansion of beneficial land management processes along rivers. Full article
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Article
Factors Influencing the Formalization of Rural Land Transactions in Ethiopia: A Theory of Planned Behavior Approach
Land 2022, 11(5), 633; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050633 - 25 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 933
Abstract
Despite the recent successful establishment of systematic land registration programs in some African countries including Ethiopia, updating the land registers has become a growing concern. However, there is limited empirical evidence about whether landholders’ behavior is driving the lack of updating land registers [...] Read more.
Despite the recent successful establishment of systematic land registration programs in some African countries including Ethiopia, updating the land registers has become a growing concern. However, there is limited empirical evidence about whether landholders’ behavior is driving the lack of updating land registers in Ethiopia. Using the theory of planned behavior, this study examines the factors that influence landholders’ behavior of formalizing rural land transactions in Ethiopia. Primary and secondary data were collected using surveys, key informant interviews, and a literature review. A total of 206 respondents participated in the survey from the Basona Worena district of the Amhara region, central Ethiopia. A structural equation model and descriptive statistics were used to analyze the survey data and supplemented by qualitative findings. The study findings revealed that landholders’ attitudes and subjective norms have positively and significantly influenced their intentions to formalize land transactions. However, perceived behavioral control has a negative and insignificant influence. The predictive relevance of the research model is significant and indicates strong intentions to formalize but less actual behavior. This behavior can influence the currency of the information in the land register in the near future and degrade the functions and sustainability of the land registration system in Ethiopia. The study findings recommended facilitating the behavioral changes of landholders to transform their strong intentions into actual practice. Policymakers should develop and implement an innovative information value creation strategy including landholder-oriented services that incentivize the formalization of land transactions and helps landholders overcome hurdles created by subjective norms. Full article
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Article
Participatory Landscape Design and Water Management—A Sustainable Strategy for Renovation of Vernacular Baths and Landscape Protection in Szeklerland, Romania
Land 2022, 11(1), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11010095 - 07 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 913
Abstract
Szeklerland is a historical-ethnic region located on the eastern border of the Carpathian Basin, in the central region of Romania. In Szeklerland, thanks to its varied topography and a network of small settlements, landscape management is still carried out using traditional methods. Szeklerland [...] Read more.
Szeklerland is a historical-ethnic region located on the eastern border of the Carpathian Basin, in the central region of Romania. In Szeklerland, thanks to its varied topography and a network of small settlements, landscape management is still carried out using traditional methods. Szeklerland is a macro-region rich in natural resources. Among its natural treasures, the mineral water springs with healing properties are of particular importance: around 40 percent of Romania’s mineral water resources are found here. This richness in hydrogeological features is due to the fact that the post-volcanic activities in the young tertiary mountain ranges in the region still produce large quantities of carbon dioxide, which dissolves beneficial minerals from the earth. When dissolved in water, these minerals produce mineral waters that can be used to cure various types of diseases. For centuries, the medicinal properties of the mineral waters of Szeklerland have been regularly used by the local population. In addition to their consumption, small and larger vernacular baths were built in the settlements with medicinal springs, and their regular use led to the development of a traditional, local cold-water bathing culture in the region. However, the vernacular baths were destroyed in the world wars, and their traditional use was abolished by the apparatus of the 20th century communist regime, which had no respect to natural and cultural heritage. After the political change in 1989, the attention of the society turned back to tradition and values. Alongside (or as part of) nature and landscape conservation initiatives, the reinterpretation and restoration of the intangible and practical values of vernacular baths in Szeklerland also began. Over the past decades, the renovation of vernacular baths, which started as a professional–civic initiative, has grown into an independent heritage conservation programme: dozens of vernacular baths have been renovated in Szeklerland over the past twenty years with public participation initiated and led by professionals. In the course of the renovations, baths used by local communities have been rebuilt using nature- and environment-friendly techniques, materials and in a way that they are also related to the physical environment and the mythology of the region. The project has won prestigious awards both in Romania and internationally, and has become a successful and exemplary movement in landscape heritage conservation. Full article
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Article
Applying SBM-GPA Model to Explore Urban Land Use Efficiency Considering Ecological Development in China
Land 2021, 10(9), 912; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10090912 - 28 Aug 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1365
Abstract
Rapid urban sprawl is a key characteristic of the current urban land use changes in China. It leads, however, to inefficient land use and spatial imbalance. This paper conducts a quantitative analysis of the urban land use efficiency (ULUE) at a provincial scale [...] Read more.
Rapid urban sprawl is a key characteristic of the current urban land use changes in China. It leads, however, to inefficient land use and spatial imbalance. This paper conducts a quantitative analysis of the urban land use efficiency (ULUE) at a provincial scale in China, based on the SBM-GPA integration model, and using the datasets of 31 province-level regions (provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions) in Chinese mainland from 2008 to 2017. The analysis demonstrates that: (1) the proportion of provinces reaching the production frontiers is low, but there are possibilities to improve for the ULUE; (2) the provincial ULUE strongly correlates to the type of agglomeration characteristics, and the degree of agglomeration tends to increase year by year; (3) there are three types of clusters of provincial ULUE values: high, medium, and low; (4) the gravity center of the provincial ULUE is located in Henan Province, where values are relatively stable and limited changes occur. The novelty of this research is that it applies spatial modeling to characterize and analyze ULUE spatial and temporal variations and clusters in China. Practically, this can better support decision making in urban land use management. Full article
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Article
The Demsetz’s Evolutionary Theory of Property Rights as Applied to Rural Land of China: A Supplement
Land 2021, 10(9), 888; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10090888 - 24 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1125
Abstract
The main objective of this article is to contribute to the literature on land issues, especially with regard to the evolutionary theory of China’s rural land property rights. This article applies the Demsetz’s evolutionary theory of property rights as a framework into an [...] Read more.
The main objective of this article is to contribute to the literature on land issues, especially with regard to the evolutionary theory of China’s rural land property rights. This article applies the Demsetz’s evolutionary theory of property rights as a framework into an analysis of the evolutionary process of property rights in rural land of China. It is found that externality, compactness, productivity, and organizational complexity—four principles in Demsetz’s framework—are at the core of understanding the evolution of property rights from collective control of land to family based control of land in China. However, the framework is incomplete due to being unlikely to notice the role of land titling so that a property rights game is developed in this article to extend the evolutionary theory of property rights. Importantly, it suggests the necessity of “split-rights” from family based control land to private control land in China. To sum up, this paper refreshes the dominant framework of analysis on the evolution of property rights in mainstream economics, and makes it discern when collective ownership does not evolve into pure privatization, finally, instead of into private control of land, as is currently applied to rural area in China. Full article
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Article
Struggles of Women to Access and Hold Landuse and Other Land Property Rights under the Customary Tenure System in Peri-Urban Communal Areas of Zimbabwe
Land 2021, 10(6), 649; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10060649 - 18 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1163
Abstract
The struggles of women to access and hold landuse and other land property rights under the customary tenure system in peri-urban communal areas is increasingly becoming a cause for concern. These debates are revealed using a case study of a peri-urban communal area [...] Read more.
The struggles of women to access and hold landuse and other land property rights under the customary tenure system in peri-urban communal areas is increasingly becoming a cause for concern. These debates are revealed using a case study of a peri-urban communal area called Domboshava in Zimbabwe. Women living in this peri-urban communal area struggle to access and hold landuse and other land property rights registered under their names. The aim of this paper is to present an analysis of the struggles faced by women to access and hold landuse and other land property rights in Domboshava. This paper is a product of a literature review on land property rights, land tenure systems, and peri-urbanity more generally. Field data was intermittently collected in the peri-urban communal area of Domboshava over a period of four years from 2011 to 2014, as well as through post-research social visits stretching to 2019. Thirty-two women were conveniently selected and interviewed. I applied Anthony Giddens’ structure-agency theory as a framework of analysis. The struggles to access and hold landuse and other land property rights by women are rooted in land transactions, social systems including the customary land tenure, patriarchy, as well as the peri-urban context of Domboshava. Responsible authorities on land administration in communal areas need to acknowledge the existence of new and invented ways of accessing and holding landuse and land property rights under the customary land tenure system, as well as to find ways to mobilize more opportunities for women on the peri-urban land market. Full article
Article
How Does Local Real Estate Investment Influence Neighborhood PM2.5 Concentrations? A Spatial Econometric Analysis
Land 2021, 10(5), 518; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10050518 - 13 May 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1687
Abstract
Real estate investment has been an important driving force in China’s economic growth in recent years, and the relationship between real estate investment and PM2.5 concentrations has been attracting widespread attention. Based on spatial econometric modelling, this paper explores the relationships between [...] Read more.
Real estate investment has been an important driving force in China’s economic growth in recent years, and the relationship between real estate investment and PM2.5 concentrations has been attracting widespread attention. Based on spatial econometric modelling, this paper explores the relationships between real estate investment and PM2.5 concentrations using multi-source panel data from 30 provinces in China between 1987 and 2017. The results demonstrate that compared with static spatial panel modelling, using a dynamic spatial Durbin lag model (DSDLM) more accurately reflects the influences of real estate investment on PM2.5 concentrations in China, and that PM2.5 concentrations show significant superposition effects and spillover effects. Moreover, there is an inverted U-shaped relationship between real estate investment and PM2.5 concentrations in the Eastern and Central Regions of China. At the national level, the impacts of real estate investment on land urbanization and PM2.5 concentrations first increased and then decreased over time. The key implications of this analysis are as follows. (1) it highlights the need for a unified PM2.5 monitoring platform among Chinese regions; (2) the quality of population urbanization rather than land urbanization should be given more attention; and (3) the speed of construction of green cities and building of green transportation systems and green town systems should be increased. Full article
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Article
Advances in the Coordination between the Cadastre and Land Registry
Land 2021, 10(1), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10010081 - 17 Jan 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2517
Abstract
A necessary and effective coordination between cadastre and land registry has always existed in Spain, but the difficulties have only been specifically addressed in the last few years. The aim of this study is to illustrate, analyse, and evaluate advances in this coordination [...] Read more.
A necessary and effective coordination between cadastre and land registry has always existed in Spain, but the difficulties have only been specifically addressed in the last few years. The aim of this study is to illustrate, analyse, and evaluate advances in this coordination in Spain from the beginnings of the current system in the early twentieth century, with the cadastre and land registry operating as separate organisations. A preliminary study was made in 2002 of the difficulties that needed to be overcome to achieve an ideal coordination of mainly mapped information. The study was made by gathering and analysing the opinions of various specialists who have dealt with the issue of coordination. For this research, qualitative information (current and historical) was gathered by querying documents about cadastre and land registry coordination in Spain. This information was studied and compared to identify the problems and challenges. A survey in 2012 analysed the relationship between the cadastre and land registry from the point of view of the general public in the city of Gandia. The Spanish government enacted the first specific and effective legislation on coordination in 2015 (Act 13/2015), and much has changed since its introduction. During the last five years of application, each of the problems initially highlighted has been monitored and analysed, and the difficulties that have arisen have been noted. In this study, each of these problems and challenges is analysed from various perspectives: querying documents (norms, budgets, official news, etc.), websites, digital applications, observation, and interviews. The main results of the case study in Spain are as follows: coordination is generally indispensable and cannot be postponed; there is a difficult understanding between the organisations involved; the general public associate the word “cadastre” with taxes and not with security in the demarcation of property; political will and understanding is necessary; the process is slow and requires long-term agreements; an improvement in the quality of maps is fundamental; and technology is not a problem. Full article
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