Urban land teleconnections and sustainability

Karen C. Seto, Anette Reenberg, Christopher Boone, Michail Fragkias, Dagmar Haase, Tobias Langanke, Peter Marcotullio, Darla K. Munroe, Branislav Olah, David Simon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

370 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper introduces urban land teleconnections as a conceptual framework that explicitly links land changes to underlying urbanization dynamics. We illustrate how three key themes that are currently addressed separately in the urban sustainability and land change literatures can lead to incorrect conclusions and misleading results when they are not examined jointly: the traditional system of land classification that is based on discrete categories and reinforces the false idea of a rural-urban dichotomy; the spatial quantification of land change that is based on place-based relationships, ignoring the connections between distant places, especially between urban functions and rural land uses; and the implicit assumptions about path dependency and sequential land changes that underlie current conceptualizations of land transitions. We then examine several environmental "grand challenges" and discuss how urban land teleconnections could help research communities frame scientific inquiries. Finally, we point to existing analytical approaches that can be used to advance development and application of the concept.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7687-7692
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume109
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - May 15 2012

Keywords

  • Coupled human-natural systems
  • Land change science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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