Advanced

A classification to align social-ecological land systems research with policy in Europe

Winkler, Klara J. LU ; Scown, Murray W. LU and Nicholas, Kimberly A. LU (2018) In Land Use Policy 79. p.137-145
Abstract

Both research and policy recognize land systems as fundamental to human life and activities. However, these two perspectives approach land from different ends and it can be difficult to see how studied variables contribute to broader policy goals. In this paper, we argue that there is a need to better select variables to study land systems as social-ecological systems, and to align research more with those policy goals. Concentrating on the European continent, we pursue three interrelated objectives: we (1) build a classification of land systems variables, (2) examine where existing land systems research is positioned in this classification, and (3) compare a set of policies and science-policy frameworks with the classified research. To... (More)

Both research and policy recognize land systems as fundamental to human life and activities. However, these two perspectives approach land from different ends and it can be difficult to see how studied variables contribute to broader policy goals. In this paper, we argue that there is a need to better select variables to study land systems as social-ecological systems, and to align research more with those policy goals. Concentrating on the European continent, we pursue three interrelated objectives: we (1) build a classification of land systems variables, (2) examine where existing land systems research is positioned in this classification, and (3) compare a set of policies and science-policy frameworks with the classified research. To do so, we conduct a systematic review of 69 peer-reviewed, empirical land systems papers, as well as four overarching policies and science-policy frameworks. We find that over 60% of the reviewed papers include both environmental and social variables, and we identify 154 unique variables studied, 57% of which are environmental. The average paper examines four times as many environmental variables as social ones. We find that policies and science-policy frameworks stress social variables more and include health and air quality aspects that are lacking in the reviewed land systems research. Our classification can help to design research that includes both social and environmental variables and is aligned with broader policy goals. We highlight social variables with available spatial data to encourage a more balanced and integrative social-ecological research design, going beyond a focus on the built and natural environment. Our classification can contribute to guiding land systems researchers towards greater policy relevance. We hope that our classification contributes to a conversation within land systems research on the selection of variables, as well as its further development.

(Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Land change, Land cover, Land use, Pattern, Rural systems, Science-policy, SDGs
in
Land Use Policy
volume
79
pages
9 pages
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85051395957
ISSN
0264-8377
DOI
10.1016/j.landusepol.2018.06.034
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
de7df9e1-f052-4f2a-a57f-4b36d75c2953
date added to LUP
2018-09-05 14:36:13
date last changed
2019-10-15 06:44:24
@article{de7df9e1-f052-4f2a-a57f-4b36d75c2953,
  abstract     = {<p>Both research and policy recognize land systems as fundamental to human life and activities. However, these two perspectives approach land from different ends and it can be difficult to see how studied variables contribute to broader policy goals. In this paper, we argue that there is a need to better select variables to study land systems as social-ecological systems, and to align research more with those policy goals. Concentrating on the European continent, we pursue three interrelated objectives: we (1) build a classification of land systems variables, (2) examine where existing land systems research is positioned in this classification, and (3) compare a set of policies and science-policy frameworks with the classified research. To do so, we conduct a systematic review of 69 peer-reviewed, empirical land systems papers, as well as four overarching policies and science-policy frameworks. We find that over 60% of the reviewed papers include both environmental and social variables, and we identify 154 unique variables studied, 57% of which are environmental. The average paper examines four times as many environmental variables as social ones. We find that policies and science-policy frameworks stress social variables more and include health and air quality aspects that are lacking in the reviewed land systems research. Our classification can help to design research that includes both social and environmental variables and is aligned with broader policy goals. We highlight social variables with available spatial data to encourage a more balanced and integrative social-ecological research design, going beyond a focus on the built and natural environment. Our classification can contribute to guiding land systems researchers towards greater policy relevance. We hope that our classification contributes to a conversation within land systems research on the selection of variables, as well as its further development.</p>},
  author       = {Winkler, Klara J. and Scown, Murray W. and Nicholas, Kimberly A.},
  issn         = {0264-8377},
  keyword      = {Land change,Land cover,Land use,Pattern,Rural systems,Science-policy,SDGs},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {12},
  pages        = {137--145},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Land Use Policy},
  title        = {A classification to align social-ecological land systems research with policy in Europe},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2018.06.034},
  volume       = {79},
  year         = {2018},
}