Security Officers' Blog

Land Use

The factor of land use can be expressed as an ideal ecological footprint per person in square feet or square meters. The measurement reflects how much space people need to support their lifestyle. The formula accommodates all the basic lifestyles, from rural to urban. The formula can sustain a very high standard of living. The Individual footprint is a portion of humanity's overall footprint.

This footprint was derived in part from what is necessary to support humans sustainably and secondly, from what the earth can handle. In other words, we use only what we need to live comfortably.
The method of determining this figure follows:
The total land mass of Earth equals approximately 36 Billion acres(14.4 Billion Hectares). Humans can only use approximately 4.175% of this total land space, because the rest must remain as biodiverse as possible to support all life functions on Earth. This also applies to other natural resources such as water, minerals, etc. This leaves 1.5 Billion acres(600 Million hectares) for human occupation and use. The total population of Earth will most likely stabilize at 9 Billion people. Therefore, the average population density is 6 people per acre.

The math:
36 billion acres(14.4 Billion Hectares) x .04175 = 1.5 Billion acres(600 Million Hectares) Humanity's Footprint
9 Billion people divided by 1.5 Billion acres(600 Million Hectares) = 6 People per acre(15 people per Hectare)
43560 sq ft(acre) divided by 6 People = 7260 sq ft per person
(10,000 meters sq=hectare divided by 15 people = 653.4 sq m per person)

Currently, Americans have the largest ecological footprint on the planet at 23 acres(9.2 Hectares) per person. Most industrial countries are following close behind this and currently no nation is sustainable. The American Standard is 138 times larger than it should be. 300 million Americans use about 6.9 Billion acres(2.76 Billion Hectares), an amount that is exhausting our reserves of natural resources and depleting our capacity to develop more.

The 7260 sq ft(653.4 sq m) Footprint contains five basic parts:
1) Living Area equals 500 sq ft (45 sq m)
2) Integrated Food Production Area equals 2500 sq ft (225 sq m)
3) Open space/common areas equals 485 sq ft (43.65 sq m)
4) Economic/work sphere equals 145 sq ft (13 sq m)
5) Naturally Managed/ Harvest Areas equals 3630 sq ft (326.7 sq m)

The footprint equals this:
For every square foot of developed land, 23 square feet of land must remain natural and pristine. This calculates to four acres per person(174,240 sq ft).
Or 174,240 sq ft(total) - 7260 sq ft(Individual footprint) = 166,980 sq ft( natural and pristine)