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Land use involves the management and modification of
natural environment The natural environment or natural world encompasses all life, living and non-living things occurring nature, naturally, meaning in this case not Artificiality, artificial. The term is most often applied to the Earth or some parts of Earth. Th ...

natural environment
or
wilderness Wilderness or wildlands (usually in the plural), are s on that have not been significantly modified by activity or any nonurbanized land not under extensive agricultural cultivation. The term has traditionally referred to terrestrial environ ...

wilderness
into
built environment In urban planning Urban planning, also known as regional planning, town planning, city planning, or rural planning, is a technical and political process that is focused on the development and design of land use and the built environment, in ...
such as settlements and semi-natural habitats such as
arable fields
arable fields
,
pasture Pasture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Rom ...

pasture
s, and managed
woods
woods
. Land use by humans has a long history, first emerging more than 10 thousand years ago. It has been defined as "the purposes and activities through which people interact with land and terrestrial ecosystems" and as "the total of arrangements, activities, and inputs that people undertake in a certain
land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is situated at elevations above sea level (variable over geologic time frames) and consists mainly of Earth's crust, crustal components such a ...
type." Land use is one of the most important drivers of
global environmental change ''Global Environmental Change'' is a scientific journal publishing peer-reviewed research on environmental change that was established in 1990. It is published by Elsevier. the Editor-in-chief, editor-in-chief is Eduardo Brondizio. the journal h ...
.


Regulation

Land use practices vary considerably across the world. The
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or of other organizations through formal ...

United Nations
'
Food and Agriculture Organization The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'alimentation et l'agriculture; it, Organizzazione delle Nazioni Unite per l'Alimentazione e l'Agricoltura is a list of specialized ...
Water Development Division explains that "Land use concerns the products and/or benefits obtained from use of the land as well as the land management actions (activities) carried out by humans to produce those products and benefits." As of the early 1990s, about 13% of the
Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remaining 70.8% is Water distribution on Earth, covered wi ...

Earth
was considered arable land, with 26% in pasture, 32% forests and woodland, and 1.5% urban areas.
Land change modeling Land change models (LCMs) describe, project, and explain changes in and the dynamics of land use and Land cover, land-cover. LCMs are a means of understanding ways that humans change the Earth's surface in the past, present, and future. Land chang ...
can be used to predict and assess future shifts in land use. As Albert Guttenberg (1959) wrote many years ago, "'Land use' is a key term in the language of
city planning Urban planning, also known as regional planning, town planning, city planning, or rural planning, is a technical and political process that is focused on the development and design A design is a plan or specification for the construction of ...
." Commonly, political
jurisdiction Jurisdiction (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the ...
s will undertake
land-use planning Land use planning is the process of regulating the use of land by a central authority. Usually, this is done to promote more desirable social and environmental outcomes as well as a more efficient use of resources. More specifically, the goals o ...
and regulate the use of land in an attempt to avoid
land-use conflict A land-use conflict occurs when there are conflicting views on land use, land-use policies, such as when an increasing population creates competitive demands for the use of the land, causing a negative impact on other land uses nearby. Common typ ...
s. Land use plans are implemented through land division and use ordinances and regulations, such as
zoning regulations Zoning is a method of urban planning in which a municipality or other tier of government divides land into areas called zones, each of which has a set of regulations for new development that differs from other zones. Zones may be defined for a sin ...
.
Management consulting Management consulting is the practice of helping organization An organization, or organisation (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English; American and British English spelling differences#-ise, -ize (-isation, -ization), ...
firms and
non-governmental organizations upright=1.3, alt=A roomful of people, Europe-Georgia Institute head George Melashvili addresses the audience at the launch of the "Europe in a suitcase" project by two NGOs (the EGI and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation), which aims to increase ...
will frequently seek to influence these regulations before they are codified.


United States

In colonial America, few regulations were originally put into place regarding the usage of land. As society shifted from rural to urban, public land regulation became important, especially to city governments trying to control industry, commerce, and housing within their boundaries. The first zoning ordinance was passed in
New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from New York State New York is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of ...

New York City
in 1916, and, by the 1930s, most states had adopted
zoning Zoning is a method of urban planning Urban planning, also known as regional planning, town planning, city planning, or rural planning, is a technical and political process that is focused on the development and design of land use and the bu ...
laws. In the 1970s, concerns about the environment and historic preservation led to further regulation. Today, federal, state, and local governments regulate growth and
development Development or developing may refer to: Arts *Development hell, when a project is stuck in development *Filmmaking#Development, Filmmaking, development phase, including finance and budgeting *Development (music), the process thematic material i ...
through
statutory law Statutory law or statute law is written law passed by a body of legislature. This is as opposed to Oral law, oral or customary law; or regulatory law promulgated by the Executive (government), executive or common law of the judiciary. Statutes may ...
. The majority of controls on land, however, stem from the actions of private developers and individuals. Three typical situations bringing such private entities into the court system are: suits brought by one neighbor against another; suits brought by a public official against a neighboring landowner on behalf of the public; and suits involving individuals who share ownership of a particular parcel of land. In these situations, judicial decisions and enforcement of private land-use arrangements can reinforce public regulation, and achieve forms and levels of control that regulatory zoning cannot. Two major federal laws have been passed in the last half-century that limit the use of land significantly. These are the
National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 The National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA; Public Law 89-665; 54 U.S.C. 300101 ''et seq.'') is legislation intended to preserve historic and archaeological site An archaeological site is a place (or group of physical sites) in which evidence ...
(today embodied in 16 U.S.C. 461 et seq.) and the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). The
US Department of Agriculture The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), also known as the Agriculture Department, is the United States federal executive departments, federal executive department responsible for developing and executing federal laws related to farmin ...
has identified six major types of land use in the US. Acreage statistics for each type of land use in the contiguous 48 states in 2017 were as follows: * ''Special use'' areas include national parks (29 M acres) and state parks (15 M), wildlife areas (64.4 M), highways (21 M), railroads (3M), military bases (25 M), airports (3M) and a few others. ''Miscellaneous'' includes cemeteries, golf courses, marshes, deserts, and other areas of "low economic value". ** The total land area of the US is 9.1 M km2 but the total used here refers only to the contiguous 48 states, without Alaska etc.


Environment

Land use and
land management Land management is the process of managing Management (or managing) is the administration of an organization An organization, or organisation (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English; American and British English s ...
practices have a major impact on
natural resources , Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia. The federation, federal constitutional monarchy consists of States and federal territories of Malaysia, thirteen states and three federal territories, separated by the South China Se ...
including
water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and Color of water, nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosphere and the fluids of all known li ...

water
,
soil Soil is a mixture In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the Chemical element, elements that make up matter to the chemical compound, comp ...

soil
,
nutrient A nutrient is a substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote the base or owner of attributes * Chemical substance, a material with a definite chemical composition * Matter, anything that has mass and t ...
s,
plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical energy that, through cellular respiration, can later be released to fuel ...

plant
s and
animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms are composed of cells ...

animal
s. Land use information can be used to develop solutions for natural resource management issues such as salinity and
water quality Water quality refers to the chemical A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touche ...

water quality
. For instance, water bodies in a region that has been
deforested deforestation in 1750-2004 (net loss) showing anthropogenic modification of remaining forest. File:MODIS (2020-08-01).jpg, 300px, Dry seasons, exacerbated by climate change, and the use of slash-and-burn methods for clearing tropical forest ...
or having erosion will have different water quality than those in areas that are
forest A forest is an area of land dominated by tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. In some usages, the definition of a ...

forest
ed.
Forest gardening 's forest garden in Shropshire Shropshire (; alternatively Salop; abbreviated in print only as Shrops; demonym Salopian ) is a landlocked historic county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other pu ...
, a plant-based food production system, is believed to be the oldest form of land use in the world. The major effect of land use on
land cover Land cover is the physical material at the surface of the earth. Land covers include grass, asphalt, trees, bare ground, water, etc. Earth cover is the expression used by ecologist Frederick Edward Clements that has its closest modern equivalent b ...
since 1750 has been
deforestation deforestation in 1750-2004 (net loss) showing anthropogenic modification of remaining forest. File:MODIS (2020-08-01).jpg, 300px, Dry seasons, exacerbated by climate change, and the use of slash-and-burn methods for clearing tropical forest ...

deforestation
of
temperate region In geography, the temperate climates of Earth occur in the middle latitudes (40° to 60° N/S of Equator), which span between the tropics The tropics are the region of Earth surrounding the Equator. They are delimited in latitude by ...
s. More recent significant effects of land use include
urban sprawl Urban sprawl (also known as suburban sprawl or urban encroachment) is the unrestricted growth in many urban area An urban area, or built-up area, is a human settlement with a high population density and infrastructure of built environment. ...
,
soil erosion Soil erosion is the displacement of the upper layer of soil File:Stagnogley.JPG, Surface-water-Gley soil, gley developed in glacial till, Northern Ireland. Soil is a mixture of organic matter, minerals, gases, liquids, and organisms that togeth ...

soil erosion
,
soil degradation Soil retrogression and degradation are two regressive evolution processes associated with the loss of equilibrium of a stable A stable is a building in which livestock Livestock is commonly defined as domesticated Domestication is a sust ...
, salinization, and
desertification Desertification is a type of land degradation Land degradation is a process in which the value of the biophysical environment is affected by a combination of human-induced processes acting upon the land. It is viewed as any change or distu ...
. Land-use change, together with use of
fossil fuel A fossil fuel is a hydrocarbon In , a hydrocarbon is an consisting entirely of and . Hydrocarbons are examples of s. Hydrocarbons are generally colourless and hydrophobic with only weak odours. Because of their diverse molecular structure ...
s, are the major
anthropogenic Anthropogenic ("human" + "generating") is an adjective that may refer to: * Anthropogeny, the study of the origins of humanity Counterintuitively, anthropogenic may also refer to things that have been generated by humans, as follows: * Human imp ...
sources of carbon dioxide, a dominant
greenhouse gas A greenhouse gas (GHG or GhG) is a gas that Absorption (electromagnetic radiation), absorbs and Emission (electromagnetic radiation), emits radiant energy within the thermal infrared range, causing the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhou ...
. According to a report by the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or of other organizations through formal ...

United Nations
'
Food and Agriculture Organization The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'alimentation et l'agriculture; it, Organizzazione delle Nazioni Unite per l'Alimentazione e l'Agricoltura is a list of specialized ...
,
land degradation Land degradation is a process in which the value of the biophysical environment A biophysical environment is a life, biotic and Abiotic component, abiotic surrounding of an organism or population, and consequently includes the factors that ...
has been exacerbated where there has been an absence of any land use planning, or of its orderly execution, or the existence of financial or legal incentives that have led to the wrong land use decisions, or one-sided central planning leading to over-utilization of the land resources - for instance for immediate production at all costs. As a consequence the result has often been misery for large segments of the local population and destruction of valuable
ecosystem An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact. These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient cycles and energy flows. Energy enters the syst ...

ecosystem
s.


Urban growth boundaries

The
urban growth boundary An urban growth boundary, or UGB, is a regional boundary, set in an attempt to control urban sprawl Urban sprawl (also known as suburban sprawl or urban encroachment) is the unrestricted growth in many urban areas of housing, commercial developm ...
is one form of land-use regulation. For example,
Portland, Oregon Portland (, ) is the list of cities in Oregon, largest and most populous city in the U.S. state of Oregon, and the county seat, seat of Multnomah County, Oregon, Multnomah County. It is a major port in the Willamette Valley region of the Pacif ...

Portland, Oregon
is required to have an urban growth boundary which contains at least of vacant land. Additionally, Oregon restricts the development of farmland. The regulations are controversial, but an economic analysis concluded that farmland appreciated similarly to the other land.Jaeker WG, Plantinga AJ (2007)
How have Land-use regulations Affected Property Values in Oregon?
OSU Extension.


See also


References


External links


Land-use and land-cover change defined at Encyclopedia of Earth

Land Use Law News Alert

Land Use Law
by Prof. Daniel R. Mandelker ( Washington University in St. Louis School of Law)
The Relationship Between Land Use Decisions and the Impacts on Our Water and Natural Resources

Land Use Accountability Project
The Center for Public Integrity

(
Michigan State University Michigan State University (MSU) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, or organisation (Englis ...
Extension Land Use Team)
Land Policy Institute at Michigan State University

Land Use
Cornell University Law School {{Portal bar, Agriculture and Agronomy Land management Regional economics Regional science