The aim of this programme is to find ways to deliver a better, evidence-based and interdisciplinary decision-making framework to inform how land is used, through research collaboration with policy, business and land management partners.
The Landscape Decisions: towards a new framework for using land assets programme will address the challenge of delivering better, evidence-based decisions within UK landscapes through research collaboration with policy, business and land management partners to deliver an interdisciplinary decision-making framework to inform how land is used.
The programme is funded through the Strategic Priorities Fund, which has been set up to build upon the vision of a common research fund set out in Sir Paul Nurse’s independent review of the research councils. The fund will drive an increase in high-quality multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research and innovation, ensure that UKRI’s investment links up effectively with government departments’ research priorities and opportunities, and ensure that the system is able to respond to strategic priorities and opportunities.
This programme will address the following:
- how land can be managed to realise benefits for the benefit of society, individual wellbeing and the environment, both now and in the future
- how research and innovation can provide solutions to support effective (real world) land-use decisions that deliver improvements to the environment, health, wellbeing and the economy.
The programme will be structured across three work packages:
- developing new mathematics
- building new model solutions
- stimulating new thinking and communities.
These work packages are interrelated and unified by overarching activities that together will deliver the programme outcomes:
- a move towards a holistic framework for land-use decision making
- the emergence of a new community from the diverse research base, capable of articulating and underpinning a new decision framework.
To move towards a holistic decision-making framework requires activities that develop a new community from the diverse research base, and expose this to the land allocation models currently being used to capture the complexity. Through this, the programme will work to understand their opportunities and weaknesses, and seek to strengthen them through new mathematical methodology.
Current approaches to landscape decisions do not capture the complex ways we use the landscapes and value the benefits we realise from using land. Decisions made at scales from regional to local will impact on the flow and quality of ecosystem services that contribute to our environmental biodiversity, benefit our economy, our societal health and wellbeing, and our livelihoods.
Challenge lies in capturing complexity of outcomes that flow from the adapting and changing feedback loops, and ensuring these decision points draw from interventions that:
- capture trade-offs between quality of the environment, social groups, health, wellbeing and the economy
- pay attention to cultural, aesthetic and heritage consequences of interventions in the long term.