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Future land use: the requirement of an outcome-driven strategy

 

There is a strong case for more strategic thinking in land use planning, focusing on outcomes and searching out breakthrough strategies, rather than reacting ad-hoc on external developments.

Land use has never been static. In the last few centuries dramatic changes have taken place. Looking forward, global populations are set to continue to grow in both number and wealth, and demand more from the resource that productive land represents. Feeding the resulting demands for consumption will result in production that will often impact on future land use, just as current land use and the associated landscapes are frequently a by-product of previous generations’ consumption, and the associated land management.

Good management practice suggests that specifying long-term success as a desired outcome helps create a whole-organisation focus on what will really make a difference. What’s more, testing potential outcomes that seem impossible at first consideration can stimulate breakthrough strategies – new ways forward that simply do not emerge through incremental processes.

That points to the need to postulate a bold vision for the land uses society will need a decade or two ahead, within the vision that has been set. It means exploring the feasibility of radical measures, when stakeholders might prefer to go forward incrementally.

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