Presenter/Author Information

T. Totzer
W. Loibl

Keywords

demography, land use change, statistical functions, plurel, dpsir-concept

Start Date

1-7-2008 12:00 AM

Description

Intuitively, it seems to be evident that there is aclose relationship between human society andnatural environment. People change theirenvironment through intensive utilisation: foragriculture, for living, for transport, for leisureactivities, for resources, etc. Thus, it appears clearthat there must be a close link betweendemographic and land use development. However,quantifying and modelling this relationship basedon statistically significant correlations is achallenging task. Even if we focus the researchquestion on one single land use type, namelysettlement area, where a very close and directconnection to population as driving force isassumed, it is not easy to explain the relationshipstatistically by a formula fitting for differentregions across Europe. In some European regionsthe development of settlement patterns andpopulation numbers even diverges as on the onehand population stagnates or shrinks and on theother hand settlement areas grow. Thisphenomenon has socio-economic reasons.Empirical findings from Austrian and Europeanstudies proved that nowadays the growth ofsettlement area is not solely caused by growingpopulation numbers but particularly in prosperousand urbanised regions by increasing demand forsettlement area per person due to higher livingstandard and income (Loibl and Tötzer 2003,Tötzer et al. 2007). Thus, for modelling humanactors as driving force for land use change,demand-related factors like settlementarea/consumption per head, settlement density,household size, etc. have to be considered besidemere population numbers.

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Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

Actors as factors for land use change: Effects of demographic change on land use across Europe

Intuitively, it seems to be evident that there is aclose relationship between human society andnatural environment. People change theirenvironment through intensive utilisation: foragriculture, for living, for transport, for leisureactivities, for resources, etc. Thus, it appears clearthat there must be a close link betweendemographic and land use development. However,quantifying and modelling this relationship basedon statistically significant correlations is achallenging task. Even if we focus the researchquestion on one single land use type, namelysettlement area, where a very close and directconnection to population as driving force isassumed, it is not easy to explain the relationshipstatistically by a formula fitting for differentregions across Europe. In some European regionsthe development of settlement patterns andpopulation numbers even diverges as on the onehand population stagnates or shrinks and on theother hand settlement areas grow. Thisphenomenon has socio-economic reasons.Empirical findings from Austrian and Europeanstudies proved that nowadays the growth ofsettlement area is not solely caused by growingpopulation numbers but particularly in prosperousand urbanised regions by increasing demand forsettlement area per person due to higher livingstandard and income (Loibl and Tötzer 2003,Tötzer et al. 2007). Thus, for modelling humanactors as driving force for land use change,demand-related factors like settlementarea/consumption per head, settlement density,household size, etc. have to be considered besidemere population numbers.