As human populations grow and land and natural resources come under greater pressure, land use planning has been an increasingly important subject of policy discussion at the national level. Governments, communities, and indeed all stakeholders are being forced to recognize the importance of not only rationalizing the use to which land is put, but even more importantly ensuring that land and resources are stewarded ecologically for future generations. Rooted in the inherently logical yet incredibly complex notion of sustainable development, intelligent land use and stewardship policies are being implemented in different regions of the world. The progress, however, is far too slow to bridge the gap between current development patterns and existing resources effectively. For example, urban growth continues unabated, while cities are unable to provide basic levels of sanitation, employment, health, and education for current residents.
This book is an attempt to survey the global experience to date in implementing land use policies that move us further along the sustainable development continuum. Its chapters include diagnoses of the challenges of implementing sustainable land use policies that appear in different parts of the world. These chapters reveal that some problems are common to all jurisdictions, while others appear unique to particular regions. The book also includes chapters documenting new and emerging approaches such as reforms to property rights regimes and environmental laws. Other chapters offer comparisons of approaches in different jurisdictions that can present insights that might not be apparent from a single-jurisdiction analysis.