Land use changes in regional economic theory

A. van der Veen, Henriëtte Otter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Land use and land cover changes are a major source of environmental degradation and therefore a serious issue in sustainable development studies and in the integrated assessment of environmental problems. In an attempt to understand part of the complexity of land use change we here aim to explore the ways in which economists deals with the land use issue. We argue that space is one of the forgotten items in economics. Economists often seem to ignore high-resolution spatial dynamics either because they are not considered as an important feature of the problem or out of habit. It seems as though there is a trade-off between spatial resolution and human behaviour in current applications. Certain types of models are capable of capturing the spatial complexity of urban and regional areas, for instance, by using cellular automata. Other types of land use models clearly have shortcomings where it concerns spatial detail. Dynamic modelling approaches do not guarantee a high spatial resolution. We propose to give more attention to agent based modelling as this type of modelling provides a specific connection between processes on micro level and macro-level spatial structures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-150
JournalEnvironmental modeling and assessment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • IR-59989
  • METIS-200802

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