Globalisation, Regionalisation and Behavioural Responses of Land Use Agents

  • Calum BrownEmail author
  • Dave Murray-Rust
  • Jasper van Vliet
  • Shah Jamal Alam
  • Peter H. Verburg
  • Mark D. Rounsevell
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8235)


The global land system is under intense pressure from human demands for a range of different services. Neo-classical economic theory suggests that globalised free trade is the most efficient way of handling these demands, allowing maximum productivity and specialisation of supply. However, political responses are often protectionist in nature, designed to ensure continuity of land uses and the regional production of multiple services. We investigate the implications of both globalisation and regionalisation of demand for the efficiency and productivity of land uses and, using an agent-based model of land use change, how realistic forms of human behaviour can strengthen, weaken or alter these implications. We show that ‘rational’ productive agents tend towards optimal land use configurations under globalised systems, but that ‘irrational’ behaviour yields superior results under regionalisation. Finally, the adoption of multifunctional land uses is found to be a strong and effective emergent property of agent populations under regional demand.


Globalization Regionalization Land use Agent-based modelling Supply and demand 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Calum Brown
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dave Murray-Rust
    • 1
  • Jasper van Vliet
    • 2
  • Shah Jamal Alam
    • 1
  • Peter H. Verburg
    • 2
  • Mark D. Rounsevell
    • 1
  1. 1.School of GeosciencesUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK
  2. 2.Institute for Environmental Studies and Amsterdam Global Change InstituteVrije Universiteit AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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