In Section 2.1, a general outline of land-use planning is provided. This section focuses on land-use planning for farming. Land-use planning can be defined as an idea for the future land uses, expressed in a map and a written text, presenting the development zones and other proposed changes and developments (see also Section 2.1). In this case, land-use planning can be considered as a form of (regional) agricultural planning. Its target is to establish the best use of land, within certain environmental and societal conditions, and with certain objectives . A way to establish the best use of land is to develop the right spatial structures. These spatial structures set the right conditions for farming. Apart from the actual making of a plan, the implementation of the plan also is considered to be a part of land-use planning. Usually, the achievement of the desired use of land takes place in the form of projects or programs.
When it comes to farming, the development of spatial structures is regarded from a point of view of the modernization of agriculture. Modernization involves the increase of agricultural productivity, that is, more output with less input. During the past few decades, however, a general sense of responsibility toward ecosystems, of which humankind is a part, has resulted in some additional targets. The notion of sustainable development, used by the Brundtland Commission, has become an important issue in agricultural science as well as in most communities throughout the world. It encompasses the idea that humankind has certain responsibilities for future generations, who will need to provide a way of living with the same (or more) possibilities and natural resources as the present generations. The principle of sustainable development also identifies a certain intrinsic value in the natural environment .
Agriculture can contribute to sustainable development. This is in the interest of agriculture because production is dependent on the resources provided by the natural environment. Land-use planning is able to provide agriculture with some of the conditions that make sustainable development possible.
The first objectives of land-use planning for farming—increasing production and reducing production costs—can be achieved through changes in spatial conditions and
biophysical processes. The second target, which can be summarized as sustainability, also can be achieved by modifying these two conditions. At the same time, sustainability sets the limits for these modifications. These limits are a part of socioeconomic conditions, which cannot be altered by land-use planning alone.
To a certain extent, the spatial and biophysical conditions are the subject of land-use planning for farming and the socioeconomic conditions set the limits for this planning. These relationships between land-use planning and the two conditions are illustrated in Fig. 2.6.
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