Articles on Land use

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People have been modifying Earth – as in these rice terraces near Pokhara, Nepal – for millennia. Erle C. Ellis

Surveying archaeologists across the globe reveals deeper and more widespread roots of the human age, the Anthropocene

Hundreds of archaeologists provided on-the-ground data from across the globe, providing a new view of the long and varied history of people transforming Earth's environment.
Show Works, based in the Melbourne suburb of Preston, makes dance floors, dance equipment and theatre scenery. Andrew Warren, used with permission

Three ways to fix the problems caused by rezoning inner-city industrial land for mixed-use apartments

Rezoning to mixed-use residential development drove small manufacturers and creative producers out of the inner city. The result is less diversity of land uses, jobs and services where we most want it.
The costs of keeping a roof over our heads create a dependence on market growth that puts low-consumption, sustainable living out of reach for many of us. Glenn Hunt/AAP

Access to land is a barrier to simpler, sustainable living. Public housing could offer a way forward

The cost of land and, in turn, housing forces people to buy into the rules of market capitalism, making it very hard to 'downshift' from consumer lifestyles. But what if we rethink public housing?
Without significant tree cover, dry and dusty landscapes can result. Don Driscoll

To reduce fire risk and meet climate targets, over 300 scientists call for stronger land clearing laws

A new petition is urging state and federal governments to rein in Australia's rampant land clearing, which worsens the risk of bushfires and threatens to undo the work of the Emissions Reduction Fund.
Old mine sites suffer many fates, which range from simply being abandoned to being incorporated into towns or turned into an open-air museum in the case of Gwalia, Western Australia.

Afterlife of the mine: lessons in how towns remake challenging sites

The industrial patterns of mining shaped many Australian towns, which found varied uses for disused mine sites. The mining boom ensures the challenges these sites present will be with us a long time.
Children in the Willows forest nature program in the Humber Valley in west Toronto are drawn to water and sticks, simple materials for exploring and investigating. Here the children explore water accumulated from spring rains. (Louise Zimanyi)

Wonder and wisdom in a children’s forest nature program

When parents walk in the forest with their children and us and see how children are drawn to spiral snails, together we see how connections with the land are critical for the Earth's future.
Getting more out of ‘lazy’ land, such as this community housing built over a Port Phillip City Council-owned car park, is a key strategy to reduce the shortage of affordable housing. CIty of Port Phillip

Put unused and ‘lazy’ land to work to ease the affordable housing crisis

As Melbourne's population hits 5 million, it's a reminder that growing cities must make much better use of vacant and underused land to meet the urgent need for affordable housing.
The Ballarat Road project in Maidstone and Footscray, Melbourne, will transform vacant land into housing for people at risk of homelessness. Schored Architects

Portable units and temporary leases free up vacant land for urgent housing needs

An innovative collaboration between government, a non-profit group and philanthropists has found a way to provide urgently needed housing on land that would otherwise be left vacant for years.
Lots of parking: the extraordinary amount of valuable land used to park cars in most cities could soon be freed up for other uses. Antonio Gravante/Shutterstock

Freeing up the huge areas set aside for parking can transform our cities

Cities around the world are starting to rethink the vast areas of land set aside for parking. The convergence of several trends likely will mean this space becomes available for other uses.

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