Quantitative tools for analysis and planning of land use require descriptions of land use systems, for example to use in optimization models. A static, descriptive formulation of land use systems, called Land Use Systems at a defined Technology (LUSTs), is discussed, that describes quantified operation sequences. Attributes, such as prices and nutrient contents, do not form part of these LUSTs, but are described separately, thus allowing for separation of technical options from socioeconomic limitations. Examples are given for the Atlantic Zone of Costa Rica. Advantages of and limitations to the LUST approach are discussed.