Core principles and concepts in land-use modelling: a literature review

J. van Schrojenstein Lantman, P. Verburg, A. Bregt, S.C.M. Geertman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Simulation models of land use predict or describe land-use change over space and time. Recent overviews of land-use simulation models show an overwhelming amount of different types of models and applications (Heistermann, Muller & Ronneberger, 2006; Koomen, Stillwell, Bakema & Scholten, 2007; Verburg, Schot, Dijst & Veldkamp, 2004). Obviously, such models are simplifications of reality, but increasing computing power over the years has made it possible to incorporate more and more complexity in such models. This increased complexity, however, tends to obscure the theoretical foundations of land-use simulation models. This theoretical foundation relates to the core principles that are used to explain land-use change and the concepts that are applied to translate these principles into a functioning model of land-use change. An in-depth review of land-use change concepts, their underlying principles, applicability and translation into actual models does not exist to our knowledge. In this chapter we aim, therefore, to analyse the application of various theoretical concepts of land-use change that are used in modelling. This analysis is a first step to better understand the conceptual background of land-use change and the application of these concepts in computer simulation models. Based on this review we present some observations on important research issues in land-use modelling and suggest possible ways for further model improvement
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLand-Use Modelling in Planning Practice
EditorsE. Koomen, J. Borsboom-Van Beurden
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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