Monday, June 10, 2013

Land use

This week we'll be covering land, minerals and recycling. To get us started, here is a nice article on land use and its associated impacts by JunJie Wu at Choices. Note the discussion of tradeoffs as well as incentive-based options for regulation.  I think this article fits nicely with the land rents discussion in the lectures, especially with regard to the impact of urbanization on land use.

Time magazine recently posted a google-powered view of some interesting land use changes from all over the world. There's a lot of content on these pages, and I have not had a chance to go through all of it. Please check some of it out and let me know what you think.

11 comments:

Luke Zente said...

I find the time-lapses very interesting, especially Dubai. I wonder if the man-made islands will last in the long run since I believe this is a fairly new concept for tourism, and what must be done to keep them from eroding away.

Taylor Cobb said...

The World Islands may have already sunk, if not literally than definitely metaphorically according to this article...http://www.businessinsider.com/nakheels-the-world-in-dubai-2012-7?op=1

I noticed something intriguing in the "Chapter Two: Extreme Resources" video. In the Amazon depletion clips, you can see some growth come back in certain 2012 frames.

Stuart Poulsen said...

Junjie Wu's article really helped to hit home for me the difficulties of land use going forward. Also, some of these time-lapse photos are really interesting in showing commercialized development. Seeing the time-lapse of the Columbia Glacier though reminded me of something I'm always curious about... to what extent is the melting of these regions caused by human development? Because based on global warming trends throughout history, isn't the natural melting supposed to be occurring anyways? I may be completely off-base here, but I'm just curious what other's thoughts are.

Tyler Mckee said...

The time lapses were very revealing in showing how fast human migration and land use has accelerated over the last 30 years. I found the Amazon and Las Vegas ones to be the easiest to see the effect human development has had on the environment in those local areas.

Cameron Weeks said...

This article shed some light on a negative externality that I never thought of. The increased social service demand in cities resulting from urbanization. The urbanization of cities leads to an increase in low-income households and a decrease in high-income households. The high-income households are moving to the suburbs. When they leave, this leads to a smaller tax base, which leaves a need for more social services.

Joe Rodriguez said...

I also found the time lapses to be very interesting. While it is often difficult to fully grasp the effect humans have had on their surrounding environment, the time lapses are able to put things into perspective by quickly showing the changes that have taken place over a period of 30 years. One can not help but think of the natural resources that have been lost due to human development, escpecially in such areas as the Amazon.

Fulton Allen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Fulton Allen said...

I see urban sprawl as a negative externality to population increase. Land needs to be used appropriately and efficiently. A recent idea has been brought up in Detroit, MI that could change the way we view urban sprawl and existing developed lands that are not being used efficiently. The new plan calls for a down sizing of the city. They would actually turn back about a quarter of the 150 square mile city into farm land and fields. This could cut city utility cost and boost the cities economy.

Kristina said...

Dubai developers do a lot of research when it comes to keeping the ecosytem as balanced as possible. They've even completely redone communities when they experienced loss of habitat in the models based on current flow. At the very least they are using materials from the area so as to not have new life added and to have the same continuation of erosion, even if the patterns have changed, which over time they do anyway.

Martin Dailey said...

The amount of destruction in the Amazon is amazing to me. Its a shame these precious resources cannot be better preserved. Its hard to imagine how much habitat has been destroyed and the amount of resources that have been taken away in just thirty years. I wonder what it will look like in thirty more years.

amyeballard said...

In JunJie Wu's article I found it interesting the amount of land that is being used for urban development. This shift has to be attributed to more than just population growth. The sizes of our homes are increasing and our need for expansion has also grown enormously. To make agricultural lands and forest lands a higher value in the market they may stand a chance at remaining in their current state. If developers could not find any monetary incentive to even begin developing them it may deter the behavior. It was also an interesting point that the farmers could take advantage of urbanization by upping crop prices. Yet the more encroachment on the land the less area one has to even grow crops. It seems outlandish to me that we would prefer a huge house over food in our mouths.
The Time content was also incredible. We have expanded so such in a small amount of time. I think its pretty amazing the amount of information we have at our fingertips. Perhaps because of this people can begin to truly see the extent of damages and begin to implement change.