The Role of Regulations and Norms in Land Use Change
Human uses of land produce large social benefits in the form of food, fiber, shelter, and other essential goods and services, but they also generate a range of environmental impacts, including carbon emissions, soil and water degradation, alterations of habitat and hydrologic cycles, and loss of biodiversity. The scale of land use impacts has increased dramatically over time with growing global population and development. Many scientists believe that current global land use practices are undermining the Earth's long-term ability to sustain food production, freshwater and forest resources, and other provisioning ecosystem services. While these concerns are global, land use decisions occur in local settings in response to local, regional, and global factors. Thus, achieving more sustainable land use practices relies on policies that can effectively manage land use and land change processes at local and multiple scales. Because the impacts vary across space, an understanding of the spatial pattern of land use and land change at local scales is also important.
This chapter is published as Irwin, E.G., G.L. Buckley, M. Gnagey, N. Irwin, D. Newburn, E. Pierce, D. Wrenn and W. Zhang. "The Role of Regulations and Norms in Land Use Change." In Science for the Sustainable City: Empirical Insights from the Baltimore School of Urban Ecology, edited by Steward T. A. Pickett, Mary L. Cadenasso, J. Morgan Grove, Elena G. Irwin, Emma J. Rosi, Christopher M. Swan, 112-31. New Haven; London: Yale University Press. https://yalebooks.yale.edu/book/9780300238327/science-sustainable-city. Posted with permission.