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Rethinking Global Land Use in an Urban Era

Karen C. Seto

Publication Year: 2014

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.<B>Contributors</B>Graeme 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

Published by: The MIT Press

Series: Strüngmann Forum Reports

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-iv


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pp. v-vi

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The Ernst Strüngmann Forum

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pp. vii-viii

Founded on the tenets of scientifi c independence and the inquisitive nature of the human mind, the Ernst Strüngmann Forum is dedicated to the continual expansion of knowledge. Through its innovative communication process, the Ernst Strüngmann Forum provides a creative environment within which experts...

List of Contributors

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pp. ix-xii

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pp. xiii-xiv

The Ernst Strüngmann Forum is, in its unique format, a setting that fosters an optimal environment for creative scientific inquiry and dialog. Indeed, the idea for this book grew out of interactions at the fourth Ernst Strüngmann Forum, “Linkages of Sustainability” (Graedel and van de Voet 2008), to which...

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1. Rethinking Global Land Use in an Urban Era: An Introduction

Karen C. Seto and Anette Reenberg

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pp. 1-8

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...

Land-Use Competition

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2. Trends in Global Land-Use Competition

Eric F. Lambin and Patrick Meyfroidt

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pp. 11-22

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...

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3. Food Production and Land Use

Peter J. Gregory and John S. I. Ingram

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pp. 23-34

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...

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4. Finite Land Resources and Competition

Helmut Haberl, Cheikh Mbow, Xiangzheng Deng, Elena G. Irwin, Suzi Kerr, Tobias Kuemmerle, Ole Mertz, Patrick Meyfroidt, and B. L. Turner II

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pp. 35-70

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...

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5. Land-Use Competition between Food Production and Urban Expansion in China

Xiangzheng Deng, Yingzhi Lin, and Karen C. Seto

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pp. 71-86

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...

Distal Land Connections

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6. Globalization, Economic Flows, and Land-Use Transitions

Peter J. Marcotullio

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pp. 89-118

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

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7. Applications of the Telecoupling Framework to Land-Change Science

Jianguo Liu, Vanessa Hull, Emilio Moran, Harini Nagendra, Simon R. Swaffi eld, and B. L. Turner II

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pp. 119-140

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...

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8. Significance of Telecoupling for Exploration of Land-Use Change

Hallie Eakin, Ruth DeFries, Suzi Kerr, Eric F. Lambin, Jianguo Liu, Peter J. Marcotullio, Peter Messerli, Anette Reenberg, Ximena Rueda, Simon R. Swaffi eld, Birka Wicke, and Karl Zimmerer

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pp. 141-162

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...

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9. Palm Oil as a Case Study of Distal Land Connections

Birka Wicke

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pp. 163-180

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...

Decision Making, Governance, and Institutions

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10. Emergent Global Land Governance

Matias E. Margulis

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pp. 183-200

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...

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11. Large-Scale Land Transactions: Actors, Agency, Interactions

Carol A. Hunsberger, Saturnino M. Borras Jr., Jennifer C. Franco, and Wang Chunyu

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pp. 201-216

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...

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12. Private Market-Based Regulations: What They Are, and What They Mean for Land-Use Governance

Graeme Auld

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pp. 217-238

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...

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13. Changes in Land-Use Governance in an Urban Era

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

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pp. 239-272

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...

Urbanization and Land Use

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14. Range of Contemporary Urban Patterns and Processes

Hilda Blanco

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pp. 275-298

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...

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15. How Is Urban Land Use Unique?

Dagmar Haase

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pp. 299-312

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...

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16. Reconceptualizing Land for Sustainable Urbanity

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

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pp. 313-330

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...

Looking Forward

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17. Ways Forward to Explore Sustainable Land Use in an Urbanizing World

Anette Reenberg and Karen C. Seto

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pp. 333-340

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, urban land use is often...


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pp. 341-386

Subject Index

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pp. 387-394

E-ISBN-13: 9780262322126
E-ISBN-10: 0262322129
Print-ISBN-13: 9780262026901

Page Count: 408
Publication Year: 2014

Series Title: Strüngmann Forum Reports