Multifunctional Land Use

pp 251-268

Land use modelling for sustaining multiple functions in the rural countryside with an application in the Achterhoek Region, the Netherlands

  • C. Martijn van der HeideAffiliated withPublic Issues Division, Agricultural Economics Research Institute (LEI)
  • , Koen P. OvermarsAffiliated withChair group Soil Inventory and Land Evaluation, (SIL), Wageningen University
  • , Roel A. JongeneelAffiliated withPublic Issues Division, Agricultural Economics Research Institute (LEI)Agricultural Economics and Rural Policy Group, Wageningen University

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The rural countryside in Europe has many functions. Although its main function is the production of food and other primary goods, the rural countryside also provides the available space for many human activities, such as settlements, recreation and tourism, and it contributes to human well-being by providing opportunities for cultural, intellectual and spiritual inspiration. Moreover, the rural countryside has the capacity to supply essential ecological processes and services that contribute to the maintenance of a healthy environment, for example by biogeochemical cycling and by providing clean air, water and soil. The term multifunctionality encapsulates the various functions of the rural countryside. Note that although the importance of the different functions vary between localities, regions and countries, all European rural landscapes fulfil multiple functions simultaneously.