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Land use change is driven by a variety of forces, including spatial policies formulated at supra-national, national, regional and local levels. The main focus of this book is to contextualise, explain and illustrate a new methodology for simulating land use change in different parts of Europe. It considers some of the more important causal factors and identifies state-of-the-art approaches to modelling human and environmental systems, and for evaluating and visualising altenative scenarios. The last part of the volume presents material from two case studies, one from The Netherlands and one from Portugal, of the implementation of a new simulation model called EuroScanner.
Audience: This work will be of interest to researchers and practioners whose work involves geography, simulation and modelling, environmental planning, spatial decision making, the methodology of social sciences, and economics.



A Framework for European Land Use Simulation

1. A Framework for European Land Use Simulation

Land is a finite natural resource and a factor of production whose use by mankind has been determined historically by a wide range of influences. The processes of development impact on the natural and human landscape, resulting in spatial mosaics of land cover, ownership and use that have been studied for many years. Whilst some environmental scientists have argued that land use is determined by physical or climatic factors (Brouwer et al., 1991), there is a long tradition of attempts to explain patterns of land use according to economic factors. This is a tradition that includes the work of the classical scholars of geographical theory and modelling; in particular the contributions made by von Thünen (1826) on agricultural land use, by Weber (1909) on industrial location, by Christaller (1933) and Lösch (1940) on central places and settlement patterns and by Burgess (1927), Hoyt (1939), and Harris and Ullman (1945) on residential land use. There is no doubt that environmental and economic explanations continue to exert major influences on land use. The role of economic factors such as the availability of subsidies, the fixing of quotas on food production, the setting aside of land in return for monetary compensation and schemes to encourage farms to diversify and become less dependent on one activity, all combine to create a complex and often dynamic pattern of agricultural land use. Similarly, the operation of the land market combined with the imposition of planning controls results in very complex urban systems whose components show strong interdependencies (Lowry, 1964). The analysis of these structures and relationships requires the application of appropriate methods to study complex systems (Wilson, 2000).
John Stillwell, Henk Scholten

Policy Perspectives, Driving Forces and Data Considerations


2. The European Spatial Development Perspective: Process, Policies and Consensus

European integration and globalisation are accelerating; national boundaries are progressively losing their significance; news about cross-border co-operation, mergers and acquisitions increasingly fill the columns of daily newspapers; and more and more European companies consider the entire territory of the European Union (EU) as their market. Spatial development and planning policies have to keep pace with and attempt to provide some control over these developments.
Peter Ungar

3. European Spatial Planning: National and Regional Perspectives

Individual member states continuously define, redefine and defend their national interests within the European Union (EU) policy arena. On many occasions, national interests and EU policies involve a spatial dimension with implications for physical land use planning across one or more sectors. Spatial planners are relatively inexperienced in how to operate in this new context of European and national power relations, finding themselves in a unique position because the EU has no formal competence in spatial planning. However, it is acknowledged that sectoral policies exert a significant impact on the way the European territory is used. The creation of a European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP) means that there is now the beginnings of a spatial policy for the entire territory of the EU.
Hans ten Velden, John Stillwell

4. Agriculture, Forestry and Nature: Trends and Developments Across Europe

Land use across Europe is influenced by a large number of factors operating at different spatial levels. Some of the land use changes are the result of autonomous economic, social and cultural developments, while others are a result of policies or spatial plans. At local level, land use may be affected by the construction of a new road or the creation of a new built-up area, for instance. At the European level, changes in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) have pronounced effects on agricultural land use. In this chapter, the main trends in agriculture, forestry and natural environment management are discussed, together with their effects on land use patterns in Europe. The requirements in terms of tools for describing the current situation, monitoring developments and creating scenarios for future land use are indicated. The trends and effects presented in the chapter are based on literature research and consultation with experts in the field.
Arnold Bregt, Kees de Zeeuw

5. The Projection of Population, Households, Housing and Residential Land Use

Understanding the changing demographic composition and spatial distribution of the population throughout Europe presents a major challenge to the European Commission and, in particular, to those concerned with formulating policies that strive to meet European Union (EU) objectives of reducing inequality across member states and regions. In general, these policies aim to redistribute revenues towards the less developed states and towards the poorer regions, many of which are peripheral in terms of geographical location with respect to the core of the EU. Demographic statistics play an important role in the procedures and equations through which funding is allocated and population volume counts are used as measures for standardizing familiar indicators of development such as gross national product and unemployment.
John Stillwell, James Debenham

6. The Land Market: A Spatial Economic Perspective

Land markets are the subject of political debate in many countries where discussions focus on themes such as externalities, urban growth and the role of land speculation. Examples of negative externalities can be found in agriculture where the use of pesticides can reduce biodiversity and downgrade the quality of nature areas. Other examples include industries that cause pollution in nearby residential areas or the construction of new residential areas that diminish the amount of open space for existing residents. Open space is becoming increasingly important in many densely populated areas as prosperity increases. As a result, the valuation of open space has started to become a research topic among economists. Spatial patterns of urban development have been another important theme in the political debate about land markets for several decades. A related issue is the relationship between accessibility, transport infrastructure projects and land values. Another area of political debate involves the allocation of ownership titles and the role of speculators, particularly where markets are booming. Market forces play an important role in all these phenomena but, depending on the institutional arrangements in place in any one country, the involvement of governments is also critically important. An economic analysis of both market forces and government intervention in the land market will help improve our understanding of these issues.
Joost Buurman, Piet Rietveld, Henk Scholten

7. The Role of Remote Sensing Techniques for European Land Use Database Construction

The development of sound environmental policies relies heavily on the outcome of environmental models which are significantly influenced by the spatial and thematic accuracy of land cover and land use data. European-wide, georeferenced land use and land cover databases are still scarce. The 10 minutes pan-European land use database of the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM), which is largely based on statistical data, was a first step towards meeting the demands of environmental monitoring on a European scale (Veldkamp et al., 1995). In comparison with statistical data, satellite remote sensing has the advantage of collecting up-to-date land cover data with a high degree of spatial accuracy. Until recently, land cover data derived from remotely sensed images has only been available for certain countries and regions in Europe. The CORINE land cover project (CORINE, 1993) is one of the relatively few approaches to European land cover mapping, but the CORINE database does not cover the whole of Europe and is based on satellite images from 1986 to 1997. This hampers the use of the database for time series analysis. The PELCOM database (Mücher et al., 2000) is based on NOAA-AVHRR satellite images from 1997 and is the first 1 km European land cover database based on remote sensing images with acquisition dates from the same year. However, the results of the PELCOM project have indicated that, for monitoring purposes, the use of NOAA-AVHRR data is limited. The land cover changes taking place in Europe do not agree with the spatial detail of the NOAA-AVHRR satellite data.
Henk Kramer, Sander Mücher

8. Towards a European Spatial Metadata Infrastructure to Facilitate Land Use Planning

The development of the ‘information society’ has been one of the key priorities of the European Union (EU) in recent years. A European Commission White Paper, published in 1993, identified the emergence of an ‘information society’ as one of the main opportunities to create new jobs and strengthen the global competitiveness of Europe (European Commission, 1993). The responsibilities of the public sector to address the societal impacts of the transition towards an information-based society, include the alleviation of social exclusion and the promotion of policies towards education, training, ethical issues and the protection of privacy. The public sector is the largest producer of information. In each member state, this information is useful for internal policy-making, for administration and for the citizens involved, but also for the private sector to add value to and create new products (Madame, 2000).
Joana Abreu, Henk Scholten

Modelling Environmental and Human Systems


9. Land Cover Information for European Environmental Modelling

Land cover maps have been used to assess the sensitivity of ecosystems in support of European policies to mitigate air pollution. Within the 1979 Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN/ECE), a protocol was signed in 1994 to further reduce the emissions of sulphur oxides, while in 1999, a protocol was negotiated to abate acidification, eutrophication and ground-level ozone. These two protocols were the first to take into account information on the sensitivity of ecosystems, in addition to economic and technical knowledge about the cost and potential of installing pollution abatement equipment in European energy combustion facilities.
Jean-Paul Hettelingh, Maximilian Posch, Peter de Smet

10. Forecasting Global Climatic Change Impacts on Mediterranean Agricultural Land Use in the Twenty First Century

This chapter is based on three years of research that started in 1996 and was undertaken as part of a European Union (EU) funded project concerned with Mediterranean desertification and land use. This project, known as MEDALUS III, consisted of a wide range of topics aiming to describe, analyse and model various aspects of climatic and environmental change at different spatial scales in the Mediterranean (MEDALUS III Final Report, 1999). One key objective of this work was to integrate socio-economics into physical models of agricultural land degradation. This task could have been tackled in various ways but the approach we adopted involved developing a prototype Synoptic Prediction System (SPS) to model relationships between climatic, physical and socio-economic variables in order to translate potential climate change scenarios into estimates of land degradation risk.
Stan Openshaw, Andy Turner

11. Demography, Economy and Urbanization: A Demo-Economic Regional Simulation Model

Since 1997, the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) has been involved in a project aimed at simulating regional demographic and economic dynamics, and the linkages with urban land use in north-west Europe. This project is financed by the Spatial Planning Office (RPD) of the Ministry of Spatial Planning and the Environment (VROM), and will result in a computer simulation model known as Decores. The model aims to assist planners and policy-makers to identify the consequences of demographic change at the regional level for regional labour markets and the impacts of regional labour markets processes on regional population dynamics. In addition, it assesses the implications of population and economic growth for urban land use change and those of increased urbanization and congestion for regional allocation of the population.
Leo van Wissen, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (RUG), Corina Huisman

12. Interregional Migration and Land Use Pressure

A recently completed project carried out by the European Commissions Joint Research Centre on behalf of the European Statistical Office (EUROSTAT, 1997) set out to explore the possibility of using European socio-economic data available in the REGIO database to model interregional migration flows. The aim was to look for correlations between migration and other socio-economic statistics available at European level, and to assess whether they could be used in simulations related to the European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP).
Beatrice Eiselt, Niela Giglioli, Robert Peckham

Evaluation and Visualisation Methods


13. Towards a Sustainable Future of Cities in Europe: An Evaluation of Sustainable City Initiatives Using Multicriteria Decision Support Methods

Concerns about quality of life are not just a pressing phenomenon of modern times. There are records on environmental decay in periods of ancient history, in both urban environments and landscapes, and many medieval cities used to have some sort of environmental regulation (Banister et al, 1999). What has made environmental concerns more pronounced in the second part of the twentieth century, is the large scale occurrence of environmental decay. There is no country or area that is not directly or indirectly suffering from environmental externalities. This quantitative extension of environmental problems has several backgrounds including the increasing number of people and a more internationally interlinked network economy with intensive trade and transport (the ‘ecological footprint’). But there are also qualitative and structural factors that are responsible for the so-called ‘new scarcity’, such as the use of synthetic and nonbiodegradable materials, the shift from local to global environmental change or the transition towards more mobile lifestyles. Against this background the notion of sustainable development has become en vogue (for a broad survey of relevant issues see Van den Bergh, 1996). Space and time play a critical role in this concept, since through these two dimensions, it is possible that environmental externalities are dispersed, either to other areas or to future generations.
Adele Finco, Peter Nijkamp

14. A Methodology for the Analysis of Spatial Conflicts in Transport Policies: Overview and Applications

The transport sector in the European Union (EU) accounts for a substantial share of the European gross national product. It is a source of employment, a crucial factor for the economic growth of the EU and for its international competitiveness. The EU transport policy1 focus is manifold. However, transport infrastructures play an important role, both in terms of management of existing infrastructures (information systems, capacity management, road pricing) and in terms of provision of new infrastructures. New infrastructures are meant to increase the competitiveness of European regions and to achieve higher levels of efficiency in the transport sector. However, infrastructures are blunt-edged instruments. They address the competitiveness-efficiency nexus only indirectly and have several side effects (such as environmental and social impacts). On the other hand, they involve large investments and therefore are valuable employment generators.
Euro Beinat

15. Virtual Reality and the Simulation of Europe’s Land Use in the Twenty First Century

There are several trends in spatial visualisation and interaction that go beyond the use of traditional maps and remote sensing images. Methods that may be applied to visualise and interact with simulation models of Europe’s land uses include:
  • the association of linked views including 3D models, graphs and databases to maps, such as in Cook et al. (1997) and Anselin (1999), linking mapping and exploratory data analysis software, and augmenting geographical information with digital video and sound (Shiffer, 1993);
  • the superimposition of transparent representations of thematic information on maps, aerial photographs or satellite images as discussed in Boice (1992) and Chakraborty and Armstrong (1996). Monmonier (1999) presents related visualisation examples from weather forecasting;
  • the use of animation in dynamic mapping, as proposed by DiBiase et al. (1992) and Mitas et al. (1997);
  • the visualisation of uncertainty of spatial information as discussed by Pang et al. (1997) and Fisher (1999); and
  • the exploration of three-dimensional representations of the terrain and associated data and simulation models in virtual environments.
António Câmara

The Development of a European Land Use Simulation System


16. Euroscanner: A Simulation Model for Land Use Change in Europe

The present generation of proprietary geographical information systems (GIS) can be used to support strategic planning processes in several ways. GIS are able to store, manage and analyse the enormous amount of data needed and they are able to provide facilities to visualise the data from a wide range of perspectives including those of different interest groups and stakeholders involved in particular planning applications. However, proprietary systems do not usually provide any applied modelling functionality and for this we require more intelligent GIS that have modelling capability available either through direct or indirect coupling ( Birkin et al., 1996). In order to simulate land use change, it is necessary to maximise the GIS capabilities for data storage, manipulation and display whilst simultaneously using a statistical or mathematical modelling software ‘engine’ to undertake the prediction functions. Such a model, that can be used to simulate the effects of autonomous or planned developments, is outlined in this chapter, The model is called EuroScanner because it has been designed to be applicable across different parts of Europe. This chapter explains how it works whilst examples of national and regional applications are contained in the two chapters that follow. We begin by reviewing alternative approaches to modelling land use in Section 16.2 and then explain the structure of the EuroScanner system and identify some of its characteristic features in Section 16.3. Section 16.4 introduces the categories of land use data used in the model, the constraints that are used to ensure consistency at regional level and the concept of suitability mapping.
Piet Rietveld, Henk Scholten, John Stillwell

17. A National Planning Application of Euroscanner in the Netherlands

Physical planning is a strategic policy-making activity aimed at finding the optimum arrangement of space and society. The planning process can be regarded as a set of governance practices for the development and implementation of spatial strategies, plans, policies and projects by regulating the location, timing and form of development (Healey, 1997). These practices are shaped by the dynamics of economic and social change which give rise to the demands for space. Frequently, the parties involved in development initiatives have different interests, objectives and preferences which are difficult to reconcile, Consequently, it is often necessary for governments to be involved in the planning process.
Kees Schotten, Camiel Heunks

18. A Regional Planning Application of Euroscanner in Portugal

Socio-economic change is becoming more complex and appears to be having greater environmental and land use impacts throughout Europe. Land use morphology reflects changes in the size, shape and function of buildings and is linked with changes in transport infrastructure. It is also related to a general increase in urban and built-up areas (partly a result of urban sprawl) and is closely related to the changing role and function of rural areas. It can be argued that analysing medium to long term spatial planning scenarios is important in order to incorporate appropriate mitigation action in plans to alleviate the potentially detrimental effects of development. Scenario-based land use planning can also be extremely useful in helping to develop an understanding of the driving forces behind land use change (ESDP, 1997).
Alfred J. Wagtendonk, Rui Pedro Julião, Kees G.J. Schotten


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