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Land cover is the physical material at the surface of the earth. Land covers include grass, asphalt, trees, bare ground, water, etc. There are two primary methods for capturing information on land cover: field survey and analysis of remotely sensed imagery. The nature of land cover is discussed in Comber et al. (2005).
Land cover is distinct from land use despite the two terms often being used interchangeably. Land use is a description of how people utilize the land and socio-economic activity - urban and agricultural land uses are two of the most commonly known land use classes. At any one point or place, there may be multiple and alternate land uses, the specification of which may have a political dimension. The origins of the â€˜land cover / land useâ€™ couplet and the implications of their confusion are discussed in Fisher et al. (2005).
One of the major land cover issues (as with all natural resource inventories) is that every survey defines similarly named categories in different ways. For instance, there are many definitions of â€˜Forestâ€™, sometimes within the same organisation, that may or may not incorporate a number of different forest features (stand height, canopy cover, strip width, inclusion of grasses, rates of growth for timber production). Areas without trees may be classified as forest cover if the intention is to re-plant (UK and Ireland), areas with many trees may not be labelled as forest if the trees are not growing fast enough (Norway and Finland).
- Land use' is also often used to refer to the distinct land use types inzoning.
Land use is the human use of land. Land use involves the management and modification of natural environment or wilderness into built environment such as fields, pastures, and settlements. It has also been defined as "the arrangements, activities and inputs people undertake in a certain land cover type to produce, change or maintain it" (FAO, 1997a; FAO/UNEP, 1999).
Land use and regulation
Land use practices vary considerably across the world. The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization Water Development Division explains that "Land use concerns the products and/or benefits obtained from use of the land as well as the land management actions (activities) carried out by humans to produce those products and benefits." As of the early 1990s, about 13% of the Earth was considered arable land, with 26% in pasture, 32% forests and woodland, and 1.5% urban areas.
As Albert Guttenberg (1959) wrote many years ago, "'Land use' is a key term in the language of city planning."Â Commonly, political jurisdictions will undertake land use planning and regulate the use of land in an attempt to avoid land use conflicts. Land use plans are implemented through land division and use ordinances and regulations, such as zoning regulations.
Land use and the environment
Land use and land management practices have a major impact on natural resources including water, soil, nutrients, plants and animals. Land use information can be used to develop solutions for natural resource management issues such as salinity and water quality. For instance, water bodies in a region that has been deforested or having erosion will have different water quality than those in areas that are forested.
The major effect of land use on land cover since 1750 has been deforestation of temperate regions. More recent significant effects of land use include urban sprawl, soil erosion, soil degradation, salinization, and desertification. Land-use change, together with use of fossil fuels, are the major anthropogenic sources of carbon dioxide, a dominant greenhouse gas.
According to a report by the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation, land degradation has been exacerbated where there has been an absence of any land use planning, or of its orderly execution, or the existence of financial or legal incentives that have led to the wrong land use decisions, or one-sided central planning leading to over-utilization of the land resources - for instance for immediate production at all costs. As a consequence the result has often been misery for large segments of the local population and destruction of valuable ecosystems. Such narrow approaches should be replaced by a technique for the planning and management of land resources that is integrated and holistic and where land users are central. This will ensure the long-term quality of the land for human use, the prevention or resolution of social conflicts related to land use, and the conservation of ecosystems of high biodiversity value.
Urban growth boundaries
The urban growth boundary is one form of land-use regulation. For example, Portland, Oregon is required to have an urban growth boundary which contains at least 20000|acre|km2 of vacant land. Additionally, Oregon restricts the development of farmland. The regulations are controversial, but an economic analysis concluded that farmland appreciated similarly to the other land.
Land use planning is the term used for a branch of public policy which encompasses various disciplines which seek to order and regulate the use of land in an efficient and ethical way, thus preventing land use conflicts.
Despite confusing nomenclature, the essential function of land use planning remains the same whatever term is applied. The Canadian Institute of Planners offers a definition that: "[Land use] planning means the scientific, aesthetic, and orderly disposition of land, resources, facilities and services with a view to securing the physical, economic and social efficiency, health and well-being of urban and rural communities"
In the English speaking world, the terms land use planning, town and country planning, regional planning, town planning, urban planning, and urban design are often used interchangeably, and will depend on the country in question but do not always have the same meaning. In Europe the preferred term is increasingly spatial planningor more recently territorial cohesion (for regional and trans-national planning).
At its most basic level, land use planning is likely to involve zoning and transport infrastructure planning. In most developed countries, land use planning is an important part of social policy, ensuring that land is used efficiently for the benefit of the wider economy and population as well as to protect the environment.
Land use planning encompasses the following disciplines:
- Landscape planning
- Environmental planning
- Landscape architecture
- Regional Planning
- Spatial planning
- Sustainable Development
- Transportation Planning
- Urban design
- Urban planning
- Urban Renaissance
- Urban renewal
Architecture, landscape planning, urban design, urban planning, landscape architecture and urban renewal usually address the selection of physical layout, scale of development, aesthetics, costs of alternatives and selection of building materials and impact upon landscape and species.
Environmental planning will often address the implications of development and plans upon the environment, for example Strategic Environmental Assessment. At the very local level environmental planning may imply the use of tools to forecast impacts of development decisions, including roadway noise, and pollution, surface runoff and flooding assessments.
Because of the many disciplines and knowledge domains involved, land use planners are increasingly making use of Information Technology, such as Geographic Information Systems, and Spatial Decision Support Systems, to assist with analysis and decision-making.
- Soil Surveys provide extensive land use planning information such as limitations for dwellings with and without basements, shallow excavations, small commercial buildings, and septic tank adsorptions. These can be obtained most easily with the [http://websoilsurvey.nrcs.usda.gov Web Soil Survey]. With the Use of a GIS, they can be viewed with the [http://soildataviewer.nrcs.usda.gov Soil Data Viewer]
Agricultural land (also agricultural area) denotes the land suitable for agricultural production, both crops and livestock. It is one of the main resources in agriculture. The standard classification (used, e.g., by FAOâ€” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) divides agricultural land into the following components:
- Arable landâ€” land under annual crops, such as cereals, cotton, other technical crops, potatoes, vegetables, and melons; also includes land left temporarily fallow.
- Orchards and vineyardsâ€” land under permanent crops (e.g., fruit plantations).
- Meadows and pasturesâ€” areas for natural grasses and grazing of livestock.
The first two components â€” arable land and land in permanent crops â€” constitute so-called cultivable land. The part of arable land actually under crops is called sown land or cropped land. The term farmland is ambiguous in the sense that it may refer, on the one hand, to agricultural land and, on the other hand, to cultivable or even only arable land.
Depending on the use of artificial irrigation, agricultural land is divided into irrigated and non-irrigated land. In arid and semi-arid countries agriculture is often confined to irrigated land, with very little farming possible in non-irrigated or rainfed areas.
Agricultural land constitutes only a part of any country's territory, which in addition also includes areas not suitable for agriculture, such as forests, mountains, and inland water bodies. Agricultural land covers 38% of the world's land area, with arable land representing less than one-third of agricultural land (11% of the world's land area).
In the context of zoning, agricultural land (or more properly agriculturally zoned land) refers to plots that may be used for agricultural activities, regardless of the physical type or quality of land.
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Answers:An area consisting of soil,groundwater,surface water or buildings is considered contaminated when the levels of a substance exceeds the natural background levels in the area.The fact that an area is contaminated does not mean that it automatically must be dangerous-all the pollution does not require an operation.EPA has developed general guidelines adapted to the use of the land.Have the soil concentrations of a single substance in these general guidelines,it means that the risk is acceptable.However,one must always report to the environmental management of the detection levels exceed guideline values.
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Answers:Grasslands are large, flat, treeless areas of land covered with grass