The location of certain elements, such as fields at a farm or farms within a community, can be defined as the relative geographic position of each element with regard to other elements. Access and location interact when planning the use of land for agriculture. A field that is located at a great distance from the farm is not very accessible. Access is also poor when a field is situated in an extensive woodland area.
At the farm level, the location of each field determines the time needed to move from one field to another and from the fields to the farm building. Location is an important factor for reducing the costs in mechanized agricultural systems. For less mechanized systems, the losses will not be counted in money but in time. Walking to the fields takes even longer than driving, and so, every reduction of the distance will be welcome.
At the regional level, the location of the local market is of great importance. Also at this level, the interaction between accessibility and location is eminent (see "Access").
Land uses may conflict in their way of using natural resources. Some forms of industry threaten vulnerable ecological systems and a wrongly designed water management system in an agricultural area may drain the water from valuable wetlands. In most cases, land uses that are not economically powerful are vulnerable. Usually, nature is the most vulnerable use of land, industry, agriculture, and urbanization are the most threatening uses. In densely populated areas, agriculture also can be one of the vulnerable uses of land. The right location of each land use, and of agriculture in particular, can prevent either agriculture from threatening nature or agriculture from being threatened by industry or urbanization. These considerations take place at the regional level. In Fig. 2.8, three examples are given of how different land uses can intertwine. In the three examples, the scale at which the mix of land-uses takes place, varies.
Was this article helpful?