Types of Land Uses: Recreational, Transport, Agricultural, Residential & Commercial

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  • 0:00 What Is Land Use?
  • 0:47 Importance of Land Use
  • 1:53 Types of Land Use
  • 3:45 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: David Wood

David has taught Honors Physics, AP Physics, IB Physics and general science courses. He has a Masters in Education, and a Bachelors in Physics.

Humans use land for lots of different things. Today you'll learn about the types of land use, why it's important, and how that relates to zoning. You can finish by completing a quiz on the topic.

What Is Land Use?

If you've ever played a settlement building game like SimCity, you'll know all about land use. Land use is the function or functions that humans apply to the land available to them. The study of land use is the study of how the land is managed, including how the natural world is adapted to human needs.

Zoning is related to land use but is how governments regulate and control it. Zoning is what you do when you create a particular area in a SimCity game; you give permission for people to build houses, businesses or factories, but you don't build them yourself. Cities take control of this kind of thing to make their cities more pleasant to live in, to control pollution, protect the environment, and create efficient transport links.

Importance of Land Use

Land use might not seem like the most exciting topic, but it's important to study. First, it tells us a great deal about the governments making the decisions for land use and the priorities they hold. Also, the better we understand the way the world has been adapted to human needs, and in what patterns, the more we can predict future trends. And, the better we can predict the future of land use, the more we can prepare for negative impacts.

For example, if humans will continue to need huge amounts of wood and paper, it is likely that deforestation will continue. Since the human need for food isn't likely to ever go away, only a change in population or efficiency could cause agricultural land to decrease. Studying this topic allows us to better prepare for the future.

Land use is also related to the study of human trends and movements. The trend of urbanization, the idea that people who once lived in the country (or rural areas) are moving increasingly to cities (or urban areas), has a big impact on land use. Homes are becoming arranged in denser patterns, and our human population centers are changing shape all the time.

Types of Land Use

There are many types of land use we need to consider when studying the topic. Those types include recreational, transport, agricultural, residential, and commercial.

Recreational land is used for human pleasure. This mostly includes parks, museums, sports grounds, and the sites of other activities that aren't essential to life but are pleasurable. Cities often specifically plan these things to make sure their cities are attractive to people - both visitors and residents.

Transport land is used for roads, railways, subways, or airports: anything that transports people or goods. These are like the circulatory system of the modern world, and necessary for all the other land uses to operate effectively.

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