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Future urban land expansion and implications for global croplands
Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change, Germany; Department Economics of Climate Change, Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
Department of Geography,Canterbury University, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA.
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental engineering. Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
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2016 (English)In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, ISSN 0027-8424, E-ISSN 1091-6490Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Urban expansion often occurs on croplands. However, there is little scientific understanding of how global patterns of future urban expansion will affect the world's cultivated areas. Here, we combine spatially explicit projections of urban expansion with datasets on global croplands and crop yields. Our results show that urban expansion will result in a 1.8-2.4% loss of global croplands by 2030, with substantial regional disparities. About 80% of global cropland loss from urban expansion will take place in Asia and Africa. In both Asia and Africa, much of the cropland that will be lost is more than twice as productive as national averages. Asia will experience the highest absolute loss in cropland, whereas African countries will experience the highest percentage loss of cropland. Globally, the croplands that are likely to be lost were responsible for 3-4% of worldwide crop production in 2000. Urban expansion is expected to take place on cropland that is 1.77 times more productive than the global average. The loss of cropland is likely to be accompanied by other sustainability risks and threatens livelihoods, with diverging characteristics for different megaurban regions. Governance of urban area expansion thus emerges as a key area for securing livelihoods in the agrarian economies of the Global South.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
National Category
Social and Economic Geography
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URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-23265DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1606036114PubMedID: 28028219OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-23265DiVA: diva2:1063583
Available from: 2017-01-10 Created: 2017-01-10 Last updated: 2017-01-10Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf