Land Use: Definition and Different Types of Land Use

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Land useis simply the human use of land. Land use in the urban area is generally conform to a regular predictable pattern the decision to develop a pieces of land for a particular use may be made independently by various private businessmen and women. The primary reason for allocating a specific use for a land is purely profitable.The value of land will determine to a large extent the use of such land. Classifying land use in the urban area is very important in understanding the spatial structure of the urban area. The most general land use inventory involves identifying the dominant economic function at a location. Categories such as residential, industrial and commercial (mostly in developed countries) should appear in such inventories. It is important for utility companies and public service groups to need data on locations of existing facilities and growth projections to plan for future energy demand. For instance, transport planners also need information on land use mixes and development intensities in order to project traffic flow information on ownership, whether public or private would be needed for other types of inventories dealing with the adequacy of open space.

Land use Definition

Land use is basically the utilization of the physical land and its resources by humans for various purposes; land can be used for residential, commercial, business, industrial, agricultural recreational,and other relatively natural use.

Land useinvolves the management and transformation ofnatural environmentor bare landintobuilt environmentsuch assettlementsand semi-natural habitats such asarable fields,pastures, and managedwoods. However, land use is defined as “the total of arrangements, activities, and inputs that people undertake in a certainland covertype.

Land cover on the other hand involves the physical and biological features found on the surface of the land, existing as vegetation or the built environment (human-created structures).

Types of land use (different uses of land)

  1. Residential land use
  2. Commercial land use
  3. Industrial land use
  4. Agricultural land use
  5. Recreational land use
  6. Transport space
  7. Public Land Use or Open space

Residential Land Use

Residential land useis a land used primarily for housing, with limited allocations for uses that are complementary to or serve basicresidentialuses. Residential land use has the largest share of all urban land use. The exact proportion of residential use varies depending if one includes the entire area of urban land including developed and vacant land or the built up area. Residential land use include individual household unites, dormitories, hotels, parks, motels, and vacant plots. Residential area generates the greatest amount of garbage in the urban areas. As land is cleared for housing and other economic activities including urbanization, infrastructural development. Erosion sets in as soon as the tree cover is removed, heavy tropical rainfall leaches the nutrients from the soil especially on sloppy areas. It could also lead to landslides and this in turn precipitates more flooding. The removal of tropical forests, that regulates the worlds climate by absorbing carbon dioxide and returning water to the atmosphere through transpiration are all disturbed leading to global warming.

Commercial Land Use

It is surprising that commercial land use contributes a very small proportion of land use in the urban area (about 5%) of the total space of the grouping. However, the economic impact in terms of employment and sales far outstrip this small space allocation. The commercial areas also contribute a lot to pollution from automobile, factories and petrochemical plants can result in acidification of lakes resulting from air pollution, other related diseases include ulcers, hypertension and lungs cancer.

Industrial Land Use

Industrial land uses are extremely varied, depending on the nature of the industry being considered. Urban-industrial land usage generally refers to the siting of factories orpetroleumrefineries, and of utilities such aselectricitygenerating stations, and water- and sewage-treatment facilities. Industrial land use in rural areas can include mines, smelters, and mills for the production of ores and metals; mines and well fields for the production offossil fuelssuch ascoal, oil, andnatural gas; and large water-holding reservoirs for the production of hydroelectricity.

Transportation Space

Airports, streets railroads and parking spaces are very large land users in the urban areas. More than 20% of the land area of a typical urban area is used for transportation relatively activity.

Agricultural Land Use

Land uses for agriculture and forestry are also types of industrial land uses, in this case involved with the production of food or tree-fiber as renewable resources. The nature of agricultural land uses depends on the types ofcropsand agronomic systems, which can vary from intensively managed monocultures to more organic systems involving annual or perennial crops and little use offertilizersorpesticides. Similarly, the intensity of land use in forestry varies from systems involving clear-cutting and the establishment of short-rotation plantations, to selection-harvesting systems with long-spaced interventions.

Recreational Land Use

Recreational land in most cities is devoted to a variety of functions. It can be divided between lands for active recreation (that is) relaxation, site-seeing etc. In essence, this distinction is between participant recreation and spectator recreation. This distinction points out the difficulty of defining precisely what is meant by recreation; for some, it may mean a type of competition, for others may mean a form of amusement and still for others it could meant relaxation. However, the use of land for such purposes deals with outdoor recreation on sites with some type of facilities that provide for both active recreation; such as outdoor swimming pools and tennis courts. The share of urban areas used for cities of 100,000 or more people. The average is about 5%. Standards have been established by different cities and organizations regarding the share of urban areas that should be devoted to recreation and open space.

Public Land Use or Open space

Public land uses of urban land are usually dominated by parks, golf courses, polo field and football field etc. in terms of space use. Access to them is sometimes restricted even though it is classified as open space. Transportation planners must be aware of cemeteries, auditoriums, arena and location etc. when projecting future corridors because the cost of moving or relocating a cemetery for instance is not worth the trouble. The environmental implication of all these is that large expanse of land must be prepared to accommodate such facility. A reduction of vegetation induces quicker water runoff, accelerated erosion, greater flood potential and increased sedimentation. As vegetation is stripped away at construction sites, it is common to notice excessive erosion and higher water level in streams with muddy, sediment-laden creeks and rivers.


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