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Land, Volume 3, Issue 2 (June 2014), Pages 362-540

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Landscape Aesthetics and the Scenic Drivers of Amenity Migration in the New West: Naturalness, Visual Scale, and Complexity
Land 2014, 3(2), 390-413; doi:10.3390/land3020390
Received: 23 December 2013 / Revised: 19 March 2014 / Accepted: 28 March 2014 / Published: 8 April 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1640 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Values associated with scenic beauty are common “pull factors” for amenity migrants, however the specific landscape features that attract amenity migration are poorly understood. In this study we focused on three visual quality metrics of the intermountain West (USA), with the objective of
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Values associated with scenic beauty are common “pull factors” for amenity migrants, however the specific landscape features that attract amenity migration are poorly understood. In this study we focused on three visual quality metrics of the intermountain West (USA), with the objective of exploring the relationship between the location of exurban homes and aesthetic landscape preference, as exemplified through greenness, viewshed size, and terrain ruggedness. Using viewshed analysis, we compared the viewsheds of actual exurban houses to the viewsheds of randomly-distributed simulated (validation) houses. We found that the actual exurban households can see significantly more vegetation and a more rugged (complex) terrain than simulated houses. Actual exurban homes see a more rugged terrain, but do not necessarily see the highest peaks, suggesting that visual complexity throughout the viewshed may be more important. The viewsheds visible from the actual exurban houses were significantly larger than those visible from the simulated houses, indicating that visual scale is important to the general aesthetic experiences of exurbanites. The differences in visual quality metric values between actual exurban and simulated viewsheds call into question the use of county-level scales of analysis for the study of landscape preferences, which may miss key landscape aesthetic drivers of preference. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape Perspectives on Environmental Conservation)
Open AccessArticle Agrosilvopastoral Systems in Northern Thailand and Northern Laos: Minority Peoples’ Knowledge versus Government Policy
Land 2014, 3(2), 414-436; doi:10.3390/land3020414
Received: 28 January 2014 / Revised: 2 May 2014 / Accepted: 13 May 2014 / Published: 20 May 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (895 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Traditional agrosilvopastoral systems have been an important component of the farming systems and livelihoods of thousands of ethnic minority people in the uplands of Mainland Southeast Asia. Drawing on a combination of qualitative and participatory inquiries in nine ethnic minority communities, this study
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Traditional agrosilvopastoral systems have been an important component of the farming systems and livelihoods of thousands of ethnic minority people in the uplands of Mainland Southeast Asia. Drawing on a combination of qualitative and participatory inquiries in nine ethnic minority communities, this study emphasizes the complex articulation of local farmers’ knowledge which has been so far excluded from governmental development and conservation policies in the northern uplands of Thailand and Laos. Qualitative analysis of local knowledge systems is performed using the Agroecological Knowledge Toolkit (AKT5) software. Results show that ethnic minorities in the two countries perceive large ruminants to be a highly positive component of local forest agro-ecosystems due to their contribution to nutrient cycling, forest fire control, water retention, and leaf-litter dispersal. The knowledge and perceptions of agrosilvopastoral farmers are then contrasted with the remarkably different forestry policy frameworks of the two countries. We find that the knowledge and diversity of practices exercised by ethnic minority groups contrasts with the current simplified and negative image that government officials tend to construct of agrosilvopastoral systems. We conclude that local knowledge of forest-livestock systems can offer alternative or complementary explanations on ecological cause-and-effect relationships which may need further scientific investigation and validation. Full article
Open AccessArticle Managing Urban Wellbeing in Rural Areas: The Potential Role of Online Communities to Improve the Financing and Governance of Highly Valued Nature Areas
Land 2014, 3(2), 437-459; doi:10.3390/land3020437
Received: 20 December 2013 / Revised: 8 May 2014 / Accepted: 20 May 2014 / Published: 5 June 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (4609 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The urban and the rural are increasingly interconnected. Rural areas have become places of consumption, as leisure and recreation have become important functions of rural areas. There are also indications that increased urbanisation even leads to a stronger appreciation of green areas situated
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The urban and the rural are increasingly interconnected. Rural areas have become places of consumption, as leisure and recreation have become important functions of rural areas. There are also indications that increased urbanisation even leads to a stronger appreciation of green areas situated far beyond city limits. Rural areas with their highly valued natural amenities nowadays seem increasingly to host urban wellbeing, given the positive relation found between green areas and human wellbeing. We provide empirical evidence for this urban–rural interconnection, using results from a survey in the Netherlands. In addition to their attachment to local and regional green places, survey results show that residents of the capital city of Amsterdam have a high appreciation of a wide range of natural, rural places throughout the country. We argue that these (until now invisible) urban–rural ties should be made more visible because these natural areas enjoyed by urban residents can no longer be taken for granted. Financial and other support for nature conservation are therefore needed. However, to organise support for nature can often be problematic because nature is a public good and collective action is often difficult to launch. The invisible and distant ties of urban dwellers for rural areas complicate the task even more. Nevertheless, it is increasingly recognised that the Internet opens many doors for community building and may help to overcome the “illogic” of collective action. In the research project “Sympathy for the Commons”, we aim to investigate the possibilities provided by the internet by building online communities around nature areas and enquiring into the available support and funding that these communities can provide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A New Urbanization Land Change Continuum)
Open AccessArticle Forest Transitions and Rural Livelihoods: Multiple Pathways of Smallholder Teak Expansion in Northern Laos
Land 2014, 3(2), 482-503; doi:10.3390/land3020482
Received: 30 January 2014 / Revised: 4 May 2014 / Accepted: 27 May 2014 / Published: 10 June 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (353 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Smallholder teak (Tectona grandis) plantations have been identified as a potentially valuable component of upland farming systems in northern Laos that can contribute to a “livelihood transition” from subsistence-oriented swidden agriculture to a more commercially-oriented farming system, thereby bringing about a
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Smallholder teak (Tectona grandis) plantations have been identified as a potentially valuable component of upland farming systems in northern Laos that can contribute to a “livelihood transition” from subsistence-oriented swidden agriculture to a more commercially-oriented farming system, thereby bringing about a “forest transition” at the landscape scale. In recent years, teak smallholdings have become increasingly prominent in the province of Luang Prabang, especially in villages close to Luang Prabang City. In this paper, we draw on a household survey conducted in five teak-growing villages and case studies of different household types to explore the role that small-scale forestry has played in both livelihood and land-use transitions. Drawing on a classification of forest transitions, we identify three transition pathways that apply in the study villages—the “economic development” pathway, the “smallholder, tree-based, land-use intensification” pathway, and the “state forest policy” pathway. The ability of households to integrate teak into their farming system, manage the woodlots effectively, and maintain ownership until the plantation reaches maturity varies significantly between these pathways. Households with adequate land resources but scarce labor due to the effects of local economic development are better able to establish and hold onto teak woodlots, but less able to adopt beneficial management techniques. Households that are land-constrained are motivated to follow a path of land-used intensification, but need more productive agroforestry systems to sustain incomes over time. Households that are induced to plant teak mainly by land-use policies that threaten to deprive them of their land, struggle to efficiently manage or hold on to their woodlots in the long term. Thus, even when it is smallholders driving the process of forest transition via piecemeal land-use changes, there is potential for resource-poor households to be excluded from the potential livelihood benefits or to be further impoverished by the transition. We argue that interventions to increase smallholder involvement in the forestry sector need to take explicit account of the initial variation in livelihood platforms and in alternative transition pathways at the household scale in order to pursue more inclusive “forest-and-livelihood” transitions in rural areas. Full article
Open AccessArticle Evolutionary Mismatch as a General Framework for Land Use Policy and Politics
Land 2014, 3(2), 504-523; doi:10.3390/land3020504
Received: 14 March 2014 / Revised: 16 May 2014 / Accepted: 4 June 2014 / Published: 13 June 2014
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Abstract
Patterns of human land use (LU) necessarily transform the land systems that sustain and contain them. Importantly, the impacts of such transformations are not isolated in space and time. LU management decisions that are made at a given geographic unit regularly impact both
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Patterns of human land use (LU) necessarily transform the land systems that sustain and contain them. Importantly, the impacts of such transformations are not isolated in space and time. LU management decisions that are made at a given geographic unit regularly impact both human and nonhuman well-being beyond the spatiotemporal boundaries of that unit. To superintend the conflicts that arise out of such circumstances, human LUs are generally subject to institutional regulations. As patterns of socio-ecological interactions change over time, these LU institutions require reform or replacement, as extant rules or LUs can become maladapted to new environmental conditions. The current paper defines this situation—in which a LU that was established in a given environment becomes dysfunctional when relevant environmental factors are changed—as a LU mismatch. It then develops a framework for studying the policy and politics of LU mismatches through the lens of evolutionary (mismatch) theory. The framework provides a means for understanding the origins and nature of LU mismatches, and, in turn, it implicates leverage points for public policy intervention. We conclude by exploring how the framework offers a relatively nonpartisan discursive frame for stakeholders to employ in LU mismatch planning and political arenas. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Mapping Woodland Cover in the Miombo Ecosystem: A Comparison of Machine Learning Classifiers
Land 2014, 3(2), 524-540; doi:10.3390/land3020524
Received: 21 April 2014 / Revised: 13 June 2014 / Accepted: 13 June 2014 / Published: 20 June 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (4372 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Miombo woodlands in Southern Africa are experiencing accelerated changes due to natural and anthropogenic disturbances. In order to formulate sustainable woodland management strategies in the Miombo ecosystem, timely and up-to-date land cover information is required. Recent advances in remote sensing technology have improved
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Miombo woodlands in Southern Africa are experiencing accelerated changes due to natural and anthropogenic disturbances. In order to formulate sustainable woodland management strategies in the Miombo ecosystem, timely and up-to-date land cover information is required. Recent advances in remote sensing technology have improved land cover mapping in tropical evergreen ecosystems. However, woodland cover mapping remains a challenge in the Miombo ecosystem. The objective of the study was to evaluate the performance of decision trees (DT), random forests (RF), and support vector machines (SVM) in the context of improving woodland and non-woodland cover mapping in the Miombo ecosystem in Zimbabwe. We used Multidate Landsat 8 spectral and spatial dependence (Moran’s I) variables to map woodland and non-woodland cover. Results show that RF classifier outperformed the SVM and DT classifiers by 4% and 15%, respectively. The RF importance measures show that multidate Landsat 8 spectral and spatial variables had the greatest influence on class-separability in the study area. Therefore, the RF classifier has potential to improve woodland cover mapping in the Miombo ecosystem. Full article

Review

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Open AccessReview Land-Use Threats and Protected Areas: A Scenario-Based, Landscape Level Approach
Land 2014, 3(2), 362-389; doi:10.3390/land3020362
Received: 21 January 2014 / Revised: 21 March 2014 / Accepted: 28 March 2014 / Published: 8 April 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (2724 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Anthropogenic land use will likely present a greater challenge to biodiversity than climate change this century in the Pacific Northwest, USA. Even if species are equipped with the adaptive capacity to migrate in the face of a changing climate, they will likely encounter
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Anthropogenic land use will likely present a greater challenge to biodiversity than climate change this century in the Pacific Northwest, USA. Even if species are equipped with the adaptive capacity to migrate in the face of a changing climate, they will likely encounter a human-dominated landscape as a major dispersal obstacle. Our goal was to identify, at the ecoregion-level, protected areas in close proximity to lands with a higher likelihood of future land-use conversion. Using a state-and-transition simulation model, we modeled spatially explicit (1 km2) land use from 2000 to 2100 under seven alternative land-use and emission scenarios for ecoregions in the Pacific Northwest. We analyzed scenario-based land-use conversion threats from logging, agriculture, and development near existing protected areas. A conversion threat index (CTI) was created to identify ecoregions with highest projected land-use conversion potential within closest proximity to existing protected areas. Our analysis indicated nearly 22% of land area in the Coast Range, over 16% of land area in the Puget Lowland, and nearly 11% of the Cascades had very high CTI values. Broader regional-scale land-use change is projected to impact nearly 40% of the Coast Range, 30% of the Puget Lowland, and 24% of the Cascades (i.e., two highest CTI classes). A landscape level, scenario-based approach to modeling future land use helps identify ecoregions with existing protected areas at greater risk from regional land-use threats and can help prioritize future conservation efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape Perspectives on Environmental Conservation)
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Other

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Open AccessConcept Paper Towards Enhanced Resilience in City Design: A Proposition
Land 2014, 3(2), 460-481; doi:10.3390/land3020460
Received: 21 December 2013 / Revised: 5 May 2014 / Accepted: 16 May 2014 / Published: 5 June 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1604 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
When we use the urban metabolism model for urban development, the input in the model is often valuable landscape, being the resource of the development, and output in the form of urban sprawl, as a result of city transformations. The resilience of these
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When we use the urban metabolism model for urban development, the input in the model is often valuable landscape, being the resource of the development, and output in the form of urban sprawl, as a result of city transformations. The resilience of these “output” areas is low. The lack of resilience is mainly caused by the inflexibility in these areas where existing buildings, infrastructure, and public space cannot be moved when deemed necessary. In this article, a new vision for the city is proposed in which the locations of these objects are flexible and, as a result, the resilience is higher: a Dismantable City. Currently, the development of this sort of city is constrained by technical, social, and regulatory practice. However, the perspective of a Dismantable City is worthwhile because it is able to deal with sudden, surprising, and unprecedented climate impacts. Through self-organizing processes the city becomes adjustable and its objects mobile. This allows the city to configure itself according to environmental demands. The city is then able to withstand or even anticipate floods, heat waves, droughts, or bushfires. Adjustability can be found in several directions: creating multiple layers for urban activities (multi-layer urbanism), easing the way objects are constructed (light urbanism), or re-using abandoned spaces (transformable urbanism). Full article

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