Economic valuation and optimization techniques for land-use changes


It is the objective to develop and test tools for the future planning of the land use, focusing primarily on economic and environmental aspects. These include, among others (i) a loss in agricultural production, which may be compensated by a higher return from forestry; (ii) a reduction in environmental costs; (iii) a net-increase in recreation and non-use values and a recovery of biodiversity; as well as other direct and indirect benefits and costs.The first objective of this project is the valuation of recreation benefits associated to regional land use changes. The most widely used valuation technique is the travel cost method. In this method the basic idea is to look for a relationship between the number of trips to a recreational site and the cost of a visit (mainly travel costs since access to forest and nature areas is free). In this project, we deal with three issues regarding recreation value. First we are interested in the measurement and the specification of the travel cost and time variables in travel cost models. Although most studies prefer objective, but often rather simple data on travel cost and time, visitors have no knowledge of these time and cost measures. We will refine the objective measurement of travel cost and time data using GIS techniques, compare these to people's own perceptions on these variables and explain the difference in the subjective and objective values for these variables. We hope that the improved specification of the travel cost variable helps to increase the reliability of the travel cost method. Secondly, we will extend the regular travel cost model by using not only information on observed recreation behaviour but also on hypothetical behaviour (Contingent Valuation Method). Thirdly, we estimate the recreation value of forests-to-be, i.e. a forest on a specific location that is not yet present there. We deal with this problem in two ways: by applying the value function transfer technique using GIS techniques or by estimating a dynamic random utility model with an extended choice set. The second objective of this project is to develop a dynamic model to geographically and socio-economically optimize land use within a certain area. Special attention is given to complementarity and substitutability of recreation sites, both geographical and over time. In this model, all impacts of land use changes as mentioned above are taken into account.


Ecosystem services, land use


Ecosystem Services {Tags}


Name Role Amount
National and International Scientific Mobility unknown


Name Role Start End
Rousseau, Sandra member 2003-01-01 2006-01-01


Name Role Start End
Energy, transport and environment research group member 2003-01-01 2006-01-01

created:2011-12-14 14:18:59 UTC, source:web

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