Controlling Development -- the On-and-Off Connection between Demographic Change and Land Use/Cover Change in Israel: 1948-2002

Daniel E. Orenstein, Brown University
Steven P. Hamburg, Brown University

This study analyzes the linkages between demographic change and land use/cover change (LUCC) in Israel, 1948 to 2002. We quantified rates of development in four 150 km2 regions using 1:50,000 survey maps as a basis for a Geographic Information System analysis. While there is a strong correlation between population growth and LUCC at the national level, the relationship is mitigated by government development policy, particularly when analyzed at the regional and local scale. Land use, which has been constrained by government policy, reflects government ideology and development priorities. Two exceptions to this trend are: 1) An emerging trend since the 1980s of preference for suburban living, which has encouraged low-density development despite government guidelines for development intensification, and; 2) A large pulse of immigration in the 1990s which precipitated an unforeseen pulse of land development. We conclude with the implications of present trends on potential for preservation of open spaces.

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Presented in Session 15: Land Use, Land Cover Change, and Demographic Processes