Indexed on: 19 Feb '10Published on: 19 Feb '10Published in: Population and Environment
This research examines land use change in Israel––an intriguing but understudied setting with regard to population–environment dynamics. While Israel is fairly unique with regard to its combined high levels of economic prosperity and high population growth, this case study has relevance for developed countries and regions (like the south and southwest regions of the USA) which must balance population growth and urban development with open space conservation for ecosystem services and biological diversity. The population–land development relationship is investigated during the period from 1961 to 1995 at three spatial scales: national, regional (six districts), and local (40 localities). There is a positive correlation between population growth and land development rates at the national scale, and while remaining positive, the strength of the relationship varies greatly at regional and local scales. The variation in population–land use dynamics across scales is used to garner insight as to the importance of geography, policy and historical settlement patterns.