The Extent to Which the Principle of Sustainability Guides Land Use Policy Development

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The Extent to Which the Principle of Sustainability Guides Land Use Policy Development

The idea of developing in such a way that the present can meet their needs without future generations needs being compromised is not a new one. It has been practiced and continues to be practiced by many groups of people across the world. For example, this principle is embedded in Aboriginal beliefs that they come from the land, and must return to the land and so must be custodians to the land. The Brundtland Commission, chaired by the Norwegian prime minister, brought the concept to the foreground where the famous definition of sustainability was given. This essay will discuss the idea of sustainability, how
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‘Limits to Growth’[2] is a book that tried to explain how economic expansion must soon come to an end , because of environmental limits. ‘Our Common Future’, the sequel to this book, starts from essentially similar understandings of the nature of the economy-environment interconnections, but draws the conclusion that growth can and should continue, however, this growth would take a different form from past growth, and should be sustainable.

By the start of the 1990s about three-quarters of councils in England, Scotland and Wales already had a ‘green plan’ of some kind in effect or in preparation, some explicitly recognising the need to extend to global issues such as global warming as well as local matters. What was new in the 1990s was the degree to which central government began to give formal support to sustainable development, and to land use planning as a means of achieving it, in some cases producing the relevant policies and legislation in response to international commitments. Sustainability is now one of the UK governments key objectives. A commitment to national sustainability plans was a key component of the UNCED agreements in 1992,