Land Use Research

  • Ivan BičíkEmail author
  • Lucie Kupková
  • Leoš Jeleček
  • Jan Kabrda
  • Přemysl Štych
  • Zbyněk Janoušek
  • Jana Winklerová
Part of the Springer Geography book series (SPRINGERGEOGR)


Basic terms, including “land use” and “land cover” are defined. Land use patterns are seen as a result of long-term interaction between humans and natural environment. Practical applications of land use research are discussed, namely with regard to land management and policy and land use planning. Later, the history of land use in the world is outlined. Four scientists that contributed most to land use research in the past are mentioned. First, Johann Heinrich von Thünen, who formulated the intensity theory and theory of crop zones. Second, Karl Marx, author of the term “differential ground rent”. Third, British geographer L. D. Stamp who is considered founder of modern land use research. Last, but not least, the Polish geographer J. Kostrowicki who focused on typology and classification of agricultural systems in the second half of the twentieth century. Current approaches in land use research in the world are also discussed. Special attention is given to the DPSIR model that works with “drivers” and “pressures”, “impacts” and “responses”. The multi-level explanatory scheme, formulated by Scottish geographer A. Mather, is seen as the most complex concept used in land use research so far. Mather worked with proximate, intermediate, and underlying factors and he is also the author of the “forest transition” concept. In Czechia, the first research projects focused on land use were carried out in the early 1960s. At the moment there are two main research directions: analyses of small areas, and complex land use studies carried out by the so-called “Prague school”. The latter studies often span a long period of time, starting in late eighteenth century. Old maps are utilized for comparisons; recently also remote sensing data have become available.


Human–nature interaction History of land use von Thünen L. D. Stamp Land use factors DPSIR Czech research 


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ivan Bičík
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lucie Kupková
    • 2
  • Leoš Jeleček
    • 1
  • Jan Kabrda
    • 1
  • Přemysl Štych
    • 1
  • Zbyněk Janoušek
    • 1
  • Jana Winklerová
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Science, Department of Social Geography and Regional DevelopmentCharles University in PraguePrague 2Czech Republic
  2. 2.Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Geoinformatics and CartographyCharles University in PraguePrague 2Czech Republic

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