NL-15 :: Land-use

Land use aboveground and the biological, chemical and physical status of the subsurface influence each other. This extends to the visible, known or unknown heritage values of the land. It is necessary to get more insight in these influences to be able to make spatial choices and to tune land use and the natural and cultural system in a sustainable way.
On a larger scale, there is a need to investigate how land ownership and economic drivers influence the land use and land management in the Netherlands. For urban areas themes such as “land grabbing”, urban sprawl, and therefore subsurface themes such as soil sealing are of importance. Soil sealing is seen as an important soil threat, which has a substantial degrading effect on the natural subsurface system. For rural areas landownership and economic drivers are largely determining how the land is managed (see topic NL-1 agriculture and food). At this moment a territorial vision of future land use (Omgevingsvisie) in the Netherlands is being prepared. This vision should address the distribution of urban and rural areas, the preferred location of the various land use functions, including farming systems, and the required role of subsurface functions and ecosystem services in relation to land. To develop such a vision, the position of the Netherlands within Europe and the world is of importance, in relation to food, feed and fibre markets, but also in relation to landscape characteristics and attractiveness, both for residents and visitors and newcomers. Specific research questions are:
• What is the vision on the use of space in the Netherlands (this vision needs to address sustainable urbanization, the future of the agricultural sector, the role of landscapes and the place of subsurface functions (and ecosystem services) in relation to land)?
Land management
• Which (location) specific ecosystem services can be deployed to realize land use functions in an area and what are possibilities here of eco-engineering of building with nature?
• What does “optimal land use” look like?
• How can we give solid input to discussions around sustainable land use, looking across sectorial and disciplinary boundaries and with due consideration of possible futures?
• How to deal with land ownership in relation to our vision on sustainable land use?
• How can we optimise sustainable land use, (also) based on soil qualities on different spatial scales?