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Land Use

  • By: Selima Sultana & William Todd Powell
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Land use is a difficult term to define, as it lacks a standard interdisciplinary definition and is frequently used interchangeably with the term land cover. However, these terms have distinct meanings. Land cover refers to the physical and biological cover over the surface of Earth, including water, vegetation, bare soil or rock, and ice. Land use refers to the ways in which Earth's surface has been transformed by human activities such as farming, industry, transport, and urbanization. A close connection obviously exists between land cover and land use, and they are often treated jointly as land use/land cover. The topic of land use is fundamental to the existence of urban planning, is a basic component of many geographical models of urban and transport phenomena, is ...

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