Designing landscapes for sustainable outcomes – The case of advanced biofuels

Di Lucia, Lorenzo and Usai, Domenico and Woods, Jeremy (2018) Designing landscapes for sustainable outcomes – The case of advanced biofuels. Land Use Policy, 73. pp. 434-446. ISSN 02648377

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The design of socio-ecological landscapes to provide simultaneously multiple benefits has become a key concept in current sustainable development thinking and an attractive goal for policy makers. However, its application in the practice of landscape management has proved difficult. In this study, we develop an approach for practical application of landscape design to advance multifunctionality and sustainable outcomes. We combine ideas of landscape ecology with methods for collaborative decision-making to deal with the practice of designing landscapes. Our approach consists of six components including (a) definition of boundaries and scales, (b) assessment of local values and concerns, (c) knowledge development, (d) stakeholders participation, (e) collaborative decision-making and (d) monitoring. We test the approach on the case of advanced transport biofuels. These technologies have attracted attention in recent years as a means to achieve climate, energy and development goals avoiding the environmental and socio-economic risks of conventional biofuel technologies. The findings suggest that the landscape design approach has the potential to guide the planning of complex biofuel projects for sustainable outcomes improving local acceptability of potentially controversial projects.

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