Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Dr. B.E. Smit
This thesis reviews the debate over the conversion of agricultural land to urban uses, and assesses the usefulness of land and land-use classification techniques for establishing land-use priorities. It demonstrates that the establishment of land-use priorities cannot be based solely on an assessment of the supply of land of different degrees of suitability for agriculture, and outlines the type of information needed for land-use planning. It argues that in order to determine if and where agricultural Iand needs to be protected to ensure adequate food production capacity, policy-makers require information on the capacity of the land base to meet agricultural commodity requirements under a variety of future conditions. This includes data not only on the feasibility of meeting given demands, but also on how much production capacity exists and whether the fulfillment of given demand hinges upon particular land areas or types of land being available to agriculture.
Flexibility is interpreted as the amount of production capacity that remains after specified demands are met. This thesis assesses several measures of flexibility. Each measure is based upon the analysis of a linear set of inequalities which describe resource availability and demand conditions. Two different approaches are examined. The first approach determines the extent to which production capacity exceeds or falls short of given demands. The second approach is based on the size of the feasible region defined by the linear set of inequalities.
Criticalness is interpreted as the extent to which the fulfillment of given demands is dependent upon different types of land being available to agriculture. The thesis has assessed several measures of land-use criticalness. Each of the criticalness measures is based on the analysis of a linear set of inequalities. Two types of measures are assessed. The first type rates the importance of assigning individual crops to each land type so as to meet given demands. This measure takes two forms: absolute minimum assignments and conditional minimum assignments. The second type rates the importance of each land type in meeting all the demands.
Flaherty, Mark Stephen, "Flexibility and Criticalness in Resource Use: The Case of Urban Expansion and Land Needs for Agriculture" (1985). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 1259.