Dynamics in Land Use Patterns: Socio-Economic and Environmental Aspects of the Second Agricultural Land Use Revolution
FOREWORD One of the objectives of IIASA's Study The Future Environments for Europe: Some Implications of Alternative Development Paths is to characterize the broad-scale and long-term environmental transformations that could be associated with plausible scenarios of Europe's socio-economic development over the next century. Special attention is being given to a few low-probability, high-impact transformations. The future development of land use in Europe is one of the key issues. The present
... ues. The present Collaborative Paper contributes to the discussion of the socio-economic and political factors that play a central role in sustainable development of future land use patterns. In view of serious socio-economic and environmental frictions inherent in actual land use management, various strategic options are being considered. ABSTRACT Many attempts have been made in the past decade to model or to replicate the complexity of dynamic economic-environmental systems, but the strategic components (e.g., key forces, surprises and boundaries) were not adequately included, so that these models failed to provide effective and preventive environmental policies. Consequently, megatrend analysis at a meso level focussing on the qualitative changes and major directions of influence isfrom a strategic policy viewpointmore important than seemingly precise model predictions which are usually bound to fail. This implies that joint expert views (e.g. based on strategic scientific forum analysis) and long-term cross-national comparative studies may often provide more appropriate information than conventional analytical tools. These ideas will be further elaborated in this paper in the framework of land use problems.