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How We Use Land

By mastergoku276 Nov 08, 2010 2863 Words
How we use land
'Land use' is also often used to refer to the distinct land use types in Zoning. Land use is the human modification of natural environment or wilderness into built environment such as fields, pastures, and settlements. The major effect of land use on land cover since 1750 has been deforestation of temperate regions.[1] More recent significant effects of land use include urban sprawl, soil erosion, soil degradation, salinization, and desertification.[2] Land-use change, together with use of fossil fuels, are the major anthropogenic sources of carbon dioxide, a dominant greenhouse gas.[3] It has also been defined as "the total of arrangements, activities, and inputs that people undertake in a certain land cover type"

Municipal land use
Each designation, known as a parcel’s zoning, comes with a list of approved uses that can legally operate on the zoned parcel. These are found in a government’s ordinances or zoning regulations.

Land use and land management practices have a major impact on natural resources including water, soil, nutrients, plants and animals. Land use information can be used to develop solutions for natural resource management issues such as salinity and water quality. For instance, water bodies in a region that has been deforested or having erosion will have different water quality than those in areas that are forested.

Multiple examples of suburban land use.
According to a report by the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation, land degradation 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 ecosystems. Such narrow approaches should be replaced by a technique for the planning and management of land resources that is integrated and holistic and where land users are central. This will ensure the long-term quality of the land for human use, the prevention or resolution of social conflicts related to land use, and the conservation of ecosystems of high biodiversity Land cover

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Land cover is the physical material at the surface of the earth. Land covers include grass, asphalt, trees, bare ground, water, etc. There are two primary methods for capturing information on land cover: field survey and thorough analysis of remotely sensed imagery. The nature of land cover is discussed in Comber et al. (2005).[1]

Land cover surrounding Madison, WI. Fields are colored yellow and brown, water is colored blue, and urban surfaces are colored red. Land cover is distinct from land use despite the two terms often being used interchangeably. Land use is a description of how people utilize the land and socio-economic activity - urban and agricultural land uses are two of the most commonly recognised high-level classes of use. At any one point or place, there may be multiple and alternate land uses, the specification of which may have a political dimension. The origins of the ‘land cover / land use’ couplet and the implications of their confusion are discussed in Fisher et al. (2005).[2] One of the major land cover issues (as with all natural resource inventories) is that every survey defines similarly named categories in different ways. For instance, there are many definitions of ‘Forest’, sometimes within the same organisation, that may or may not incorporate a number of different forest features (stand height, canopy cover, strip width, inclusion of grasses, rates of growth for timber production). Areas without trees may be classified as forest cover if the intention is to re-plant (UK and Ireland), areas with many trees may not be labelled as forest if the trees are not growing fast enough (Norway and Finland). Climatic impacts of land-use, land-use change and forestry

Per capita greenhouse gas emissions by country including land-use change Land-use change can be a factor in CO2 atmospheric concentration, and is thus a contributor to climate change. IPCC estimates that land-use change (e.g. conversion of forest into agricultural land) contributes a net 1.6 ± 0.8 Gt carbon per year to the atmosphere. For comparison, the major source of CO2, namely emissions from fossil fuel combustion and cement production amount to 6.3 ± 0.6 Gt carbon per year.[1] IPCC also states that from 1850 to 1998, about 136 (+ 55) Gt carbon has been emitted as a result of land-use change, predominantly from forest ecosystems. For comparison, 270 (+ 30) Gt carbon has been emitted as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere from fossil fuel burning and cement production[2]. Rules governing the treatment of land use, land-use change and forestry for the first Kyoto Accord commitment period were negotiated after the signing of the Accord itself and were finalized in Marrakech in 2001. The rules were formally accepted by the Parties of the Kyoto Protocol as part of Decision 16/CMP.1 [3] at the first conference of the Parties to the Kyoto Accord in Montreal in 2006. This decision sets out the rules that govern how Kyoto Parties with emission reduction commitments (co-called Annex 1 Parties) account for changes in carbon stocks in land use, land-use change and forestry. It is mandatory for Annex 1 Parties to account for changes in carbons stocks resulting from afforestation, reforestation and afforestation (B Article 3.3) [4] and voluntary to account for emissions from forest management, cropland management, grazing land management and revegetation (B. Article 3.4). The rules governing the treatment of land use, land-use change and forestry for the second commitment period are currently being renegotiated as part of the Bali Action Plan under the Ad-Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex 1 Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) [5]. The most recent options for rule changes under consideration are summarized in a "Non-Paper" the the co-chairs of the contact group on LULUCF (as of June 12) [6]. Land use and biodiversity

Per capita greenhouse gas emissions by country not including land-use change The extent, and type of land use directly affects wildlife habitat and thereby impacts local and global biodiversity. Human alteration of landscapes from natural vegetation (e.g. wilderness) to any other use typically results in habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation, all of which can have devastating effects on biodiversity. Land conversion is the single greatest cause of extinction of terrestrial species[2]. An example of land conversion being a chief cause of the critically endangered status of a carnivore is the reduction in habitat for the African Wild Dog, Lycaon pictus.)[3] Of particular concern is deforestation, where logging or burning are followed by the conversion of the land to agriculture or other land uses. Even if some forests are left standing, the resulting fragmented landscape typically fails to support many species that previously existed there. New Urbanism

New Urbanism was a movement which started in the 1990s. New Urbanism believes in shifting design focus from the car-centric development of suburbia and the business park, to concentrated pedestrian and transit-centric, walk able, mixed-use communities. New Urbanism is an amalgamation of old-world design patterns, merged with present day demands. It is a backlash to the age of suburban sprawl, which splintered communities, and isolated people from each other, as well as had severe environmental impacts. Concepts for New Urbanism include people and destinations into dense, vibrant communities, and decreasing dependency on vehicular transportation as the primary mode of transit.

Environmental effects
The urban heat island has become a growing concern. Urban sprawl creates a number of negative environmental and public health outcomes. For more than 100 years, it has been known that two adjacent cities are generally warmer than the surrounding areas. This region of city warmth, known as an urban heat island, can influence the concentration of air pollution. The urban heat island is formed when industrial and urban areas are developed and heat becomes more abundant. In rural areas, a large part of the incoming solar energy is used to evaporate water from vegetation and soil. In cities, where less vegetation and exposed soil exists, the majority of the sun’s energy is absorbed by urban structures and asphalt. Hence, during warm daylight hours, less evaporative cooling in cities allows surface temperatures to rise higher than in rural areas. Additional city heat is given off by vehicles and factories, as well as by industrial and domestic heating and cooling units.[10]This effect causes the city to become 2 to 10o F (1 to 6o C) warmer than surrounding landscapes.[11]. Impacts also include reducing soil moisture and intensification of carbon dioxide emissions.[12 Economic effects

One of the last houses of the old Russian village of Lukeryino, most of which has been demolished over the last 30 years to make way for 9-story apartment buildings in the growing city of Kstovo, such as the one in the background In recent years, urbanization of rural areas has increased. As agriculture, more traditional local services, and small-scale industry give way to modern industry the urban and related commerce with the city drawing on the resources of an ever-widening area for its own sustenance and goods to be traded or processed into manufactures. Research in urban ecology finds that larger cities provide more specialized goods and services to the local market and surrounding areas, function as a transportation and wholesale hub for smaller places, and accumulate more capital, financial service provision, and an educated labor force, as well as often concentrating administrative functions for the area in which they lie. This relation among places of different sizes is called the urban hierarchy. As cities develop, effects can include a dramatic increase in costs, often pricing the local working class out of the market, including such functionaries as employees of the local municipalities. For example, Eric Hobsbawm's book The age of the revolution: 1789–1848 (published 1962 and 2005) chapter 11, stated "Urban development in our period [1789–1848] was a gigantic process of class segregation, which pushed the new labouring poor into great morasses of misery outside the centres of government and business and the newly specialised residential areas of the bourgeoisie. The almost universal European division into a 'good' west end and a 'poor' east end of large cities developed in this period." This is likely due the prevailing south-west wind which carries coal smoke and other airborne pollutants downwind, making the western edges of towns preferable to the eastern ones. Urbanization is often viewed as a negative trend, but in fact, it occurs naturally from individual and corporate efforts to reduce expense in commuting and transportation while improving opportunities for jobs, education, housing, and transportation. Living in cities permits individuals and families to take advantage of the opportunities of proximity, diversity, and marketplace competition.

Population age comparison between rural Pocahontas County, Iowa and urban Johnson County, Iowa, illustrating the flight of young adults (red) to urban centers in Iowa.[9]

The City of Chicago, Illinois is an example of the early American grid system of development. The grid is enforced even on uneven topography.

Urbanization is not always attributed to high density. In Manila, the cost of living has forced residents to live in low quality slums and shanty towns Urbanization occurs naturally from individual and corporate efforts to reduce time and expense in commuting and transportation while improving opportunities for jobs, education, housing, and transportation. Living in cities permits individuals and families to take advantage of the opportunities of proximity, diversity, and marketplace competition. People move into cities to seek economic opportunities. In rural areas, often on small family farms, it is difficult to improve one's standard of living beyond basic sustenance. Farm living is dependent on unpredictable environmental conditions, and in times of drought, flood or pestilence, survival becomes extremely problematic. Cities, in contrast, are known to be places where money, services and wealth are centralised. Cities are where fortunes are made and where social mobility is possible. Businesses, which generate jobs and capital, are usually located in urban areas. Whether the source is trade or tourism, it is also through the cities that foreign money flows into a country. It is easy to see why someone living on a farm might wish to take their chance moving to the city and trying to make enough money to send back home to their struggling family. There are better basic services as well as other specialist services that aren't found in rural areas. There are more job opportunities and a greater variety of jobs. Health is another major factor. People, especially the elderly are often forced to move to cities where there are doctors and hospitals that can cater for their health needs. Other factors include a greater variety of entertainment (restaurants, movie theaters, theme parks, etc) and a better quality of education, namely universities. Due to their high populations, urban areas can also have much more diverse social communities allowing others to find people like them when they might not be able to in rural areas. These conditions are heightened during times of change from a pre-industrial society to an industrial one. It is at this time that many new commercial enterprises are made possible, thus creating new jobs in cities. It is also a result of industrialisation that farms become more mechanised, putting many labourers out of work. This is currently occurring fastest in India. Movement

Fraction of population which is urbanized, by country, as of 2006.[4] As more and more people leave villages and farms to live in cities, urban growth results. The rapid growth of cities like Chicago in the late 19th century and Shanghai a century later can be attributed largely to people from rural communities migrating there. This kind of growth is especially commonplace in developing countries. The rapid urbanization of the world’s population over the twentieth century is described in the 2005 Revision of the UN World Urbanization Prospects report. The global proportion of urban population rose dramatically from 13% (220 million) in 1900, to 29% (732 million) in 1950, to 49% (3.2 billion) in 2005. The same report projected that the figure is likely to rise to 60% (4.9 billion) by 2030.[5]. However, French economist Philippe Bocquier, writing in THE FUTURIST magazine, has calculated that "the proportion of the world population living in cities and towns in the year 2030 would be roughly 50%, substantially less than the 60% forecast by the United Nations (UN), because the messiness of rapid urbanization is unsustainable. Both Bocquier and the UN see more people flocking to cities, but Bocquier sees many of them likely to leave upon discovering that there’s no work for them and no place to live." [6] According to the UN State of the World Population 2007 report, sometime in the middle of 2007, the majority of people worldwide will be living in towns or cities, for the first time in history; this is referred to as the arrival of the "Urban Millennium". In regard to future trends, it is estimated 93% of urban growth will occur in developing nations, with 80% of urban growth occurring in Asia and Africa.[7] Urbanization rates vary between countries. The United States and United Kingdom have a far higher urbanization level than China, India, Swaziland or Niger, but a far slower annual urbanization rate, since much less of the population is living in a rural area. * Urbanization in the United States never reached the Rocky Mountains in locations such as Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Telluride, Colorado; Taos, New Mexico; Douglas County, Colorado and Aspen, Colorado. The state of Vermont has also been affected, as has the coast of Florida, the Birmingham-Jefferson County, AL area, the Pacific Northwest and the barrier islands of North Carolina. * In the United Kingdom, two major examples of new urbanization can be seen in Swindon, Wiltshire and Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire[8]. These two towns show some of the quickest growth rates in Europe. *

* The expanding Los Angeles metropolitan area is an early example of un-controlled urbanization.[1] * Urbanization (also spelled urbanisation) is the physical growth of urban areas from rural areas as a result of population immigration to an existing urban area. Effects include change in density and administration services. While the exact definition and population size of urbanized areas varies among different countries, urbanization is attributed to growth of cities.[2] Urbanization is also defined by the United Nations as movement of people from rural to urban areas with population growth equating to urban migration. The UN has projected that half of the world's population would live in urban areas at the end of 2008.[3] * Urbanization is closely linked to modernization, industrialization, and the sociological process of rationalization REferances

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