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Rethinking Global Land Use in an Urban Era

Rethinking Global Land Use in an Urban Era

Karen C. Seto
Anette Reenberg
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: MIT Press
Pages: 408
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  • Book Info
    Rethinking Global Land Use in an Urban Era
    Book Description:

    Today, global land use is affected by a variety of factors, including urbanization and the growing interconnectedness of economies and markets. This book examines the challenges and opportunities we face in achieving sustainable land use in the twenty-first century. While land resources remain finite, the global population is projected to reach ten billion by the end of the century, bringing issues of ethics and fairness to center stage. Who should decide how land is used? Where does competition for land occur, and why? Moreover, accelerating globalization, increasing demand for animal protein in our diets, the need for new sources of energy, and the global scarcity of land have led to a decoupling of land use and local control, which raises issues of governance. The contributors, from a range of disciplines and countries, present new analytical perspectives and tools for understanding key issues in global land use. The chapters consider such topics as food production and land use; case studies of urbanization and agriculture in Brazil and China; telecoupling and connections to distant places; emerging institutions of land-use governance; public and private regulation of land use; uniquely urban issues of land use; and future steps to sustainability.ContributorsGraeme Auld, Anthony J. Bebbington, Tor A. Benjaminsen, Hilda Blanco, Christopher G. Boone, Saturnino M. Borras, Jr., Wang Chunyu, Ruth DeFries, Xiangzheng Deng, Hallie Eakin, Jennifer C. Franco, Bradford S. Gentry, Peter J. Gregory, Dagmar Haase, Helmut Haberl, Vanessa Hull, Carol A. Hunsberger, John S. I. Ingram, Elena G. Irwin, Anne-Marie Izac, Suzi Kerr, Jennifer Koch, Tobias Kuemmerle, Eric F. Lambin, Yingzhi Lin, Jianguo Liu, Shuaib Lwasa, Peter J. Marcotullio, Matias E. Margulis, Cheikh Mbow, Ole Mertz, Peter Messerli, Patrick Meyfroidt, Emilio Moran, Harini Nagendra, Stephan Pauleit, Steward T. A. Pickett, Tobias Plieninger, Charles L. Redman, Anette Reenberg, Ximena Rueda, Heike Schroeder, Karen C. Seto, Thomas Sikor, Simon R. Swaffield, Billie Lee Turner II, Caroline Upton, Birka Wicke, Makoto Yokohari, Karl Zimmerer

    eISBN: 978-0-262-32212-6
    Subjects: Environmental Science, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. The Ernst Strüngmann Forum
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Julia Lupp
  4. List of Contributors
    (pp. ix-xii)
  5. Preface
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
    Karen C. Seto and Anette Reenberg
  6. 1 Rethinking Global Land Use in an Urban Era: An Introduction
    (pp. 1-8)
    Karen C. Seto and Anette Reenberg

    Be it conserving forests for biodiversity, preserving farmland for agricultural production, or halting urban sprawl, land issues are emerging as central to geopolitics, economics, globalization, human well-being, and environmental sustainability. With a projected 9+ billion people on the planet by the middle of the century—67% of whom will live in urban areas—there is increasing concern that there will not be enough land to meet societal and ecosystem needs. Moreover, many land uses are incongruous: land used for housing cannot be used to grow food; land for forests and carbon sequestration cannot be used for factories; biodiversity hotspots thrive...

  7. 2 Trends in Global Land-Use Competition
    (pp. 11-22)
    Eric F. Lambin and Patrick Meyfroidt

    Despite a continuous increase in the productivity of agriculture and forestry, the pressure to convert natural ecosystems remains high. Human population growth and increases in per capita consumption of material goods is expected to continue to lead to a growing demand for commodities produced from the land. Over the last decade, commodities produced for global markets, whose production occupies vast amounts of land and has high-income elasticity (e.g., soybean, palm oil, beef, coffee, timber), have expanded rapidly. Global food demand is projected to continue to increase as a function of per capita income. The environmental impacts of meeting this demand...

  8. 3 Food Production and Land Use
    (pp. 23-34)
    Peter J. Gregory and John S. I. Ingram

    A key challenge facing humanity is how a future global population of another 2–3 billion over the next 50 years can all be fed nutritionally and healthily, thereby delivering food security for all. This chapter examines the interactions between the production of food from crops, crop yield, and the land area required for cropping if the projections for food are to be met. Urbanization affects the use of land to produce food, but it also has major effects on the distribution, accessibility, and utilization of food. These issues are explored in relation to influences on nutrient budgets and the...

  9. 4 Finite Land Resources and Competition
    (pp. 35-70)
    Helmut Haberl, Cheikh Mbow, Xiangzheng Deng, Elena G. Irwin, Suzi Kerr, Tobias Kuemmerle, Ole Mertz, Patrick Meyfroidt and B. L. Turner II

    Competition for land is emerging as a globally pressing issue due to the sheer scale of global demand for land-based products and critical changes in processes of society-nature interaction that affect land use. The potential magnitude of the changes to the land surface of Earth that result from this increased competition is large, and land-use competition can have major implications for ecosystems and societal well-being (Coelho et al. 2012; Smith et al. 2010). In some cases, increased competition is due to new sources of demand (e.g., nascent markets for ecosystem services that have arisen from increased global demand for biodiversity...

  10. 5 Land-Use Competition between Food Production and Urban Expansion in China
    (pp. 71-86)
    Xiangzheng Deng, Yingzhi Lin and Karen C. Seto

    For over thirty years, China has experienced a period of rapid economic growth and is gradually transitioning to a stage of sustained, stable, and integrated economic and social development. In this stage, land use for food production and urbanization often conflicts with each other, causing new phenomena to occur, such as massive production factor flow and reiterative land-use change (Deng et al. 2006). Systematic and integrated research is needed to explain these new phenomena and to provide points of reference for decision makers.

    Urbanization and cultivated land protection are two important and interrelated issues in China, and coordinating their relationship...

  11. 6 Globalization, Economic Flows, and Land-Use Transitions
    (pp. 89-118)
    Peter J. Marcotullio

    This chapter has several goals. First, it reviews trends in globalization or the constellation of events, processes, and linkages that have created “transplanetary and supra-territorial connections between people” (Scholte 2005:8) resulting in a “widening, deepening and speeding up of cross-border interconnectedness in all aspects of contemporary social life” (Held et al. 1998:2). The outcome of this review suggests that while globalization has been growing over the past decades, if not centuries, the contemporary period is new and has resulted in a globally integrated system that operates differently than anything previously.

    Second, selected elements of globalization are highlighted to demonstrate the...

  12. 7 Applications of the Telecoupling Framework to Land-Change Science
    (pp. 119-140)
    Jianguo Liu, Vanessa Hull, Emilio Moran, Harini Nagendra, Simon R. Swaffield and B. L. Turner II

    Over the past two decades, many advances have been made in understanding and predicting land-use dynamics at a global scale (Turner et al. 2007). In particular, land-use change has been extensively studied using systems frameworks, such as coupled human-natural systems (McConnell et al. 2011; Liu et al. 2007a), coupled social-ecological systems (Walker et al. 2004), or coupled human-environmental systems (Moran 2010; Turner et al. 2003). Coupled systems are integrated systems in which humans and natural components interact. These frameworks view land use as a function of interactions between socioeconomic and ecological factors within a coupled system (i.e., local or internal...

  13. 8 Significance of Telecoupling for Exploration of Land-Use Change
    (pp. 141-162)
    Hallie Eakin, Ruth DeFries, Suzi Kerr, Eric F. Lambin, Jianguo Liu, Peter J. Marcotullio, Peter Messerli, Anette Reenberg, Ximena Rueda, Simon R. Swaffield, Birka Wicke and Karl Zimmerer

    Over the last decade, connectivity between processes of land change and actors, decisions, and activities has accelerated across geographically distant places. The 2007–2008 global food crisis, the expansion of biofuel production, and the global emergence of niche and “green” markets have had widespread and often unexpected outcomes on land systems in disparate geographic locations. These connections are associated with accelerated urbanization as well as the development of new markets and are motivated by emergent demands of consumers with increased agency and an intensification of information and knowledge flows. On the basis of this observed “connectivity,” we offer two propositions....

  14. 9 Palm Oil as a Case Study of Distal Land Connections
    (pp. 163-180)
    Birka Wicke

    Immense increases in palm oil production in Southeast Asia, particularly in Indonesia and Malaysia, have come hand in hand with environmental, ecological, and social issues, mainly related to the land-use change (LUC) associated with the large areal expansion of palm oil production. Palm oil production has been linked to (a) forest and peatland fires which cause smoke pollution and related health hazards across Southeast Asia, (b) deforestation which causes losses in carbon stocks and biodiversity, and (c) peatland degradation. All of these lead to increased greenhouse gas emissions and thereby contribute to climate change (Gibbs et al. 2008; Koh et...

  15. 10 Emergent Global Land Governance
    (pp. 183-200)
    Matias E. Margulis

    Compared to past decades, land occupies a significantly higher profile in current governance deliberations at the global level. Driving this has been concern over large-scale acquisitions of agricultural land, which itself is part of the broader global phenomenon known as “land grabbing.”

    On the international level, land governance is currently at the forefront of new global rule-making projects at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN), the World Bank, and the Group of Eight (G-8)/Group of Twenty (G-20), the latter of which represent states with the largest economies. In terms of transnational advocacy, work is ongoing...

  16. 11 Large-Scale Land Transactions: Actors, Agency, Interactions
    (pp. 201-216)
    Carol A. Hunsberger, Saturnino M. Borras Jr., Jennifer C. Franco and Wang Chunyu

    In recent years there has been an explosion of new land deals and land deal-making, raising questions about how these processes and outcomes can be understood and their implications for the governance of land resources. In this chapter we aim to contribute to the ongoing discussion by focusing attention on the political dynamics of large-scale land acquisitions, also known as “land deals” or “land grabs” (see also Borras et al. 2013). This phenomenon brings together several of the important themes in this volume: competition for limited arable land, long-distance connections between hubs of demand and sites of production, and complex...

  17. 12 Private Market-Based Regulations: What They Are, and What They Mean for Land-Use Governance
    (pp. 217-238)
    Graeme Auld

    Private market-based regulations (hereafter private regulations) are becoming prevalent features of governance across economic sectors. Their significance and potential import as governance mechanisms which operate alongside or in complement to governmental processes and rules has spurred a great deal of discussion and academic analysis.

    This chapter scrutinizes how private regulators contribute to problem-oriented attention in land-use governance. Considerable complexity exists below the surface of this issue. One primary challenge is posed by the differences among the many forms of private regulators. Different initiatives address different problems, from narrow attention to a single environmental concern (e.g., shade production on coffee farms)...

  18. 13 Changes in Land-Use Governance in an Urban Era
    (pp. 239-272)
    Bradford S. Gentry, Thomas Sikor, Graeme Auld, Anthony J. Bebbington, Tor A. Benjaminsen, Carol A. Hunsberger, Anne-Marie Izac, Matias E. Margulis, Tobias Plieninger, Heike Schroeder and Caroline Upton

    Land use is undergoing fundamental transformations worldwide (see Seto and Reenberg, this volume). It is becoming a global issue in that land-use changes in particular places tend to originate from distant locations or are driven by actors operating around the world. As a result, new global-level governance initiatives seek to address land-use changes worldwide. Urbanization is increasingly influencing these transformations through the demands for resources and environmental amenities articulated by urban consumers, the involvement of urban-based actors in rural production operations, and the changing lifestyles of urban residents. New actors have emerged around the world, extending from private financial companies...

  19. 14 Range of Contemporary Urban Patterns and Processes
    (pp. 275-298)
    Hilda Blanco

    To provide a theoretical background to the issues of global land use, this chapter reviews and reflects on major contemporary urban patterns and processes. Historically, urbanization has been represented by six characteristics: density of population, durable built environments, governance, specialized economic activities, urban infrastructures, and their rural spheres of influence. Recognizing these different dimensions or enablers of urban settlements, the chapter first discusses definitional issues and contemporary urban patterns. It then proceeds to various theories and policies that correspond to these major characteristics, beginning with a brief overview of economic spatial theories. Special focus is given to central place theory,...

  20. 15 How Is Urban Land Use Unique?
    (pp. 299-312)
    Dagmar Haase

    There is no consensus as to what defines a city or an urban area, but a commonly accepted definition stipulates that cities are large and permanent settlements characterized by high population densities and complex supply systems for housing, business, transportation, sanitation, and utilities (Jenks and Dempsey 2005). A key characteristic of cities is that they facilitate strong and multiple interactions between people (Satterthwaite 2007). Cities vary in size and form: large “core” cities, for example, may be surrounded by peri-urban settlements that have lower population densities. Whereas a city describes a place that can be demarcated by administrative boundaries, an...

  21. 16 Reconceptualizing Land for Sustainable Urbanity
    (pp. 313-330)
    Christopher G. Boone, Charles L. Redman, Hilda Blanco, Dagmar Haase, Jennifer Koch, Shuaib Lwasa, Harini Nagendra, Stephan Pauleit, Steward T. A. Pickett, Karen C. Seto and Makoto Yokohari

    Standard urban-rural land classification systems are insufficient for analytical or planning purposes. The delineation of Earth’s surface into discrete categories of land covers (e.g., forest, rural) and uses (e.g., recreation, agriculture) ignores the multiple functions those areas may provide and the movement of people, materials, information, and energy they facilitate (Cadenasso et al. 2007; McHale et al. 2013). The Earth’s surface is far from static, and new conceptualizations are needed which incorporate an understanding of theprocessesthat shape, take place on, and are facilitated by land. This is especially urgent in an era of rapid urbanization and globalization, where...

  22. 17 Ways Forward to Explore Sustainable Land Use in an Urbanizing World
    (pp. 333-340)
    Anette Reenberg and Karen C. Seto

    Our original ambition for this Ernst Strüngmann Forum was to refine existing and develop new perspectives to address and better understand the challenges and opportunities for sustainable land use in the 21st century. Whereas sustainable land use is often considered to be a global issue,urbanland use is often a local issue. By jointly addressing the planetary and local dimensions of land use, this Forum sought to develop a new conceptual framework of land change and urbanization that would explicitly identify how these two processes are connected, delineate pathways for sustainable urbanization, and expose the implications of an urbanizing...

  23. Bibliography
    (pp. 341-386)
  24. Subject Index
    (pp. 387-394)