Ecological Land Use. – Unless proper and efficient land use is planned and implemented, towns, cities, rural areas and the wild lands are going to suffer due to insufficiency of available land for all living things.
Modernization and technological advancements should not deprive the people of the residential places, but animals and the trees shouldn’t be homeless too. As towns and cities spread out into the rural areas and the countryside, they generate a huge development impact on the surrounding open spaces and farmlands, making it highly difficult for the ranchers, farmers and small lot owners to keep their land. This is the main reason why the health of farming communities is suffering and is currently in the brink of erosion.
It is a sad fact that humanity has to pay the price for suburban development. The costs of modernization include fragmentation and degradation of the ecosystem, congestion and dispersed services. According to researches, the costs of suburban growth and progress greatly outweigh the benefits that are being enjoyed from higher tax base. This outcome prompts many counties and municipalities to charge fees for developmental impact in their attempt to settle the costs.
One alternative to development is to design and build compact cities and towns with the use of urban development boundaries along with other zoning and planning measures. Compact towns and cities are designed to include services for efficient transportation, water and energy infrastructures. With such compact communities, it has become possible. This makes it possible for productive rural areas to be maintained right to the urban edge with future development pressures largely removed.
By maintaining control over urban development size and preserving working landscapes within their boundaries, there is a possibility for gradual restoration of the vast system of the connected wild areas. Such system – including the buffer zones, core reserves, and wildlife passages for connectivity, is going to help in the maintenance of biodiversity by permitting every living thing to freely move throughout the specified bioregion.
Ecological land use can lead to a simple geometry by treating wild, rural, and urban areas as a continuum. Building compact towns and cities that are surrounded by functional countryside landscapes is going to help maintain a connected environment of wild areas that stretch across the continent. Hopefully, this kind of geometry, the comparatively elevated population densities will be able to exist alongside prolific rural areas and fully working wild lands.
Using urban zoning laws, growth boundaries, and other ecological techniques, guarantee that towns and cities are compact. This allows for greatly efficient environment-friendly infrastructure that can offer protection for diverse functional rural landscapes directly to the metropolitan boundary. Over time, the remaining lands can be connected into the matrix of wild lands, which in return can be connected to the neighboring bioregions.
The concepts of eco-village have been born in the attempt to build communities that are economically ecologically and socially sustainable. Some existing eco villages have small population ranging from 50 to 150 residents, while there are larger ones composed of up to two thousand individuals that exist as smaller sub-communities.
Residents of eco villages share socio-economic, ecological and spiritual-cultural values. These people seek better alternatives to destructive and non-renewable water, electrical, waste management and transportation systems. For a simpler explanation, an eco village is a small scale community with the least ecological impact.
Permaculture is another option for effective ecological land use and it is the philosophy of working with nature, rather than against it. Basically, permaculture deals with efficiency in ecological design that incorporates development, construction and management of sustainable architecture, agricultural and self-maintained habitat systems.
With permaculture, it has become possible for humans to live harmoniously with nature by looking at animals, plants and the lands in broader perspective and not just focusing on an area and treating it as one product system.
Initially, permaculture stands for permanent agriculture, but due to the incorporation of social aspects into the system its meaning has been expanded and now stands for permanent culture. The main concept of permaculture is to create sustainable habitats for humanity by following the patterns of nature.