The need for scale sensitive approaches in spatially explicit land use change modeling

A. Veldkamp, P.H. Verburg, K. Kok, G.H.J. de Koning, J. Priess, A.R. Bergsma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)


This paper introduces some of the issues that are relevant to the spatially explicit modeling of land use systems. A short overview is given of the ways and means in which a number of different land use change models describe the land use system. Specific attention is given to the empirical modeling approach used in the CLUE (Conversion of Land Use and its Effects) modeling framework. This approach is demonstrated for three case studies in China, Ecuador and the Atlantic Zone of Costa Rica. These case-studies illustrate the methodology for multi-scale analysis of land use driving factors and their application in spatially explicit modeling exercises. Model functioning, performance and limitations are discussed. The presented case-studies indicate that empirical modeling results can contribute to a better theoretic imbedding of land use change research in scale sensitive and integrated theories.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-121
JournalEnvironmental Modeling and Assessment
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • land use
  • physical planning
  • spatial variation
  • models

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