Towards Better Land Use - The Role Of Geographers
How can we best use our land resources ? This apparently simple question confronts everyone concerned with land use, and it raises a complex set of problems that have to be solved within the constraints posed by the physical environment and the need to use investment capital in the most profitable way, the two constraints being balanced so as to create uses that will support lifestyles conducive to the ultimate user’s well-being. In spite of its modern expression, it is indeed a very old question, and its answer requires the introduction of parameters that complicate the planning process, particularly in industrial societies with high living standards. These parameters, by their very existence, tend to give an impression that perfection is possible, even though they continue to require evaluation in relative terms. Given this situation, geographers can help specialists in other disciplines to avoid the pitfalls of what may prove to be a blinkered, narrow, approach. They can help evaluate probable impacts of proposed developments within an extensive, but nevertheless circumscribed framework taking full cognisance of complexities inherent in time and space. Probably the best way of elaborating these points is by using examples, drawing attention to successes and failures.
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