Assessing land use change: International evidence review

Ian Merrell*, James Glendinning, Lorna Pate, Ana Vuin, Steven Thomson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/Report/Policy Brief/Technical BriefResearch report


This is a literature review that focuses on land use change and considers behavioural and decision-making frameworks commonly applied in agriculture and other land-based activities. The result is an approach that uses the Scottish Government’s Individual Social Material (ISM) model, moment of change theory and policy nudges to showcase the various pathways in which a land owner can decide to change land use, particularly a change towards achieving net zero goals (planting trees, restoring peatland, creating renewable energy infrastructure etc.). This is an important tool which will be used in later stages of the research to show when and why land owners decide to change land use, and can also be useful for policy makers to understand when land owners are more (or less) susceptible to change and what can incentivise them to do so.
Original languageEnglish
Commissioning bodyScottish Government
Number of pages49
Publication statusPrint publication - 15 Jun 2023


  • land use
  • land use change
  • behaviour
  • decision-making
  • net zero
  • farming
  • forestry
  • estates
  • Individual Social Material
  • ISM model
  • policy nudge
  • moment of change
  • conceptual framework

Rural Policy Centre Themes

  • Land use and land reform


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