Jul. 18th, 2015 10:49 am
drplokta: (Default)
[personal profile] drplokta
So, England has 35,000 square miles of countryside. How much would you say that it needs for farming, wildlife habitats, recreation, scenery, and all the other things for which we need open space? That's a fairly fundamental question while we're deciding how much of it we can afford to build things like houses on. Do we need 35,000 square miles? Would 33,000 square miles be enough? Or 30,000 square miles? Or do we perhaps need more than the 35,000 square miles that we've got? Think about your answer for a bit before moving on to read the next paragraph, which is behind a cut tag.

Well, I was lying about the 35,000 square miles; it's more like 45,000. So unless you decided we needed more than 35,000 square miles in the previous paragraph, you should have no problem with releasing vast swathes of greenfield land for building. Because the fact that I was lying about how much we have makes no difference to how much we need, so if you decided we need 35,000 square miles or less, then we have lots and lots of spare countryside on which to build. If you've suddenly decided that no, we need closer to 45,000 square miles, ask yourself why.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-18 05:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
In land use policy the details matter. For farming, it's not just how much land, but the quality. For wildlife habitat, it's what ecosystems it preserves and its connectedness to other habitats. Some forms of recreation involve building — there's a big difference between a golf course or a marina and a wilderness trail. For scenery, the aesthetics of the landscape matter. And then there is countryside that is useless for all purposes. None of this is captured by a statistic such as "35,000" or "45,000".

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