What is land? PDF Print E-mail
Contributed by Koichi Paul Nii   
Tuesday, 26 January 2010

By Koichi Paul Nii

Natural land is altered to satisfy the human need for structures, roads and farming.  This practice has continued for thousands of years. Presently, great areas of land are easily converted and developed benefiting only humans and often sacrificing all other forms of life.  This practice must stop to reverse the damages to the earth that has resulted in the present global ecological and climate crisis.


The expansion of land occupation from the time of its origin to now has been two dimensional in growth.  The lands for agricultural expand two dimensionally.  Buildings are three dimensional but roads and walkways connecting them are not.  Residential properties are laid out two dimensionally.  The current advancement in technologies and materials allow for three dimensional growths.  However, land occupation continues in the same inefficient ways.  Whenever land is occupied by humans, its multiple benefits provided to other life ceases.  The buildings and roads cover the ground. The grounds are used only to support them.   

Many vegetables grow in shallow soils.  Many crops can be grown hydroponically.   Both utilizations do not need much if any soil.  They only need level platforms to hold nutrients, i.e. soil or water.  And platforms can be constructed.  Platforms designed for specific functions are more efficient for the specific task than the natural land.  Solar exposure, drainage, rain water harvesting and protection from elements can all be controlled on platforms. 

Terraced Structured Land (TSL) consists of platforms stacked and staggered much like steps.  To impact the present human occupation of land, a minimum of 4 tiers of platforms are needed to reduce 50% of present land occupation.  In other words, if all the current residential lots were replaced by same lot area on platforms stacked 4 tiers high, TSL will occupy about half the area presently occupied.  Platforms stacked 10 tiers high will occupy about third of the area being used.  In addition, stacking terraces also has a 3 dimensional by-product, the inner space that accommodates other habitable spaces and infrastructure networks.  Inclusion of societal infrastructure spaces in the inner space reduces human occupation of land by about another 20%.  Taller the TSL, the more natural land is preserved and more occupied land can be returned to nature.       

Currently, as human population increases, more lands are needed to satisfy the human demands.  But these demands do not have to occupy more natural lands 2 dimensionally as practiced for thousands of years.  To begin reversing the global ecological and climatic crisis, return occupied lands back to nature; construct lands; place together urban core and suburbs; provide application for universal collection of alternative energy sources; and greatly decrease dependence on carbon emitting sources such as cars and energy. 

Present usage of land is inefficient.  Lands occupied by humans are used mainly as supports for products human need.  As population continues to grow, more lands are needed for shelters and food productions benefiting only humans and sacrificing all other life sharing earth.  Terraced Structured Lands efficiently use the natural lands allowing continuation of all life and improving the quality of life standard throughout the world. 

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