Land and soil are critically impacted by multiple use requirements. It is increasingly understood that the urban-rural metabolism and relationships are critically determining the in-/efficiency of land use practices. Thus, the following question has been emphasized: How can improved urban-rural linkages contribute to sustainable territorial development, including sustainable land management?
In this contribution, we introduce the UN-Habitat “Urban-Rural Linkages: Guiding Principles” (URL-GP), which intend to be a framework for action to advance integrated territorial development. Second, we introduce different topical cases related to un-/sustainable land use in the urban-rural continuum in Germany, Kenya and Tanzania. We discuss (1) if the URL-GP at their meta-level do provide a global framework to address these challenges even though the specificities of the cases are numerous and heterogeneous, and (2) in how far the GP are soil and land use specific.
We conclude that the URL-GP does indeed provide an important contribution to support more sustainable land-use management and policies.
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This study is part of a post-doctoral research program in political science. A ten-week field work (February–March and November 2018) has been conducted in Dar es Salaam as well as in the districts of Bagamoyo and Kisarawe. In both districts, different wards and villages have been selected in order to reflect the diversity of land uses and degrees of urbanization in peri-urban settings. Bagamoyo consists of eleven wards (which are subdivided into hamlets), of which nine have been transformed into townships and two still undergo the process. The research method was based on a qualitative approach involving semi-structured interviews, documentary research and a press review. In Tanzania, around 60 interviews were conducted with land experts; central, district, ward and village government stakeholders, land buyers, land sellers, brokers/middlemen and civil society stakeholder.
Payments for Environmental Services (PES) “occur when a beneficiary or user or an ecosystem service makes a direct or indirect payment to the provider of that service. The idea is that whoever preserves or maintains an ecosystem service should be paid for doing so” UN-Habitat (2019), p. 43.
The concept of indirect land use change assumes that due to the additional demand for raw material from growing sectors (e.g. feedstuff) attention is shifted to other areas on the strength of the assumption that the demand for these products will go down less than the demand for feedstuff. In consequence, the loss of the land used originally to produce the respective commodity is at least compensated by making new cultivation areas elsewhere arable, which leads to land use changes, particular the conversion of forests and grassland to cropland—confer UBA (2013), p. 44.
Own translation of “Gut leben und arbeiten im ganzen Land - Das ist eine Mission der neuen Hightech-Strategie 2025 der Bundesregierung. Deshalb fördern wir mit der Maßnahme Stadt-Land-Plus Forschungsprojekte zu nachhaltigem Landmanagement und gleichwertigen Lebensverhältnissen in Stadt und Land.”
Own translation of: “Das Querschnittsvorhaben hat unter anderem zur Aufgabe, aktuelle bundespolitisch relevante Fragestellungen mitzudenken und die Forschung der Verbünde diesbezüglich zu unterstützen. […] Stadt-Land-Plus soll nicht nur einen Mehrwert in den beteiligten Regionen leisten, sondern zukünftig die Rahmenbedingungen für eine regionale nachhaltige Raumentwicklung deutschlandweit verbessern.”