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Revitalisation of Common Use in Management of Modern Multifunctional Landscapes


  • Henrik Vejre
  • Jens Abildtrup
  • Niels Kærgaard
  • Bo Fritzbøger
  • Anne Gravsholt Busck
  • Søren Bøye Olsen


Land areas in collective ownership or use are traditionally referred to as commons. Through history, the common use and ownership has been a widespread means of regulating the use of natural resources. Changing economic conditions and technology spawned a process however where land use rights and landowner rights aggregated into the modern form of private ownership of individual farms with full management and owner rights. This process had obvious rationales in terms of production of marketable agricultural products. However, in the twentieth century increasing awareness of the supply of externalities such as clean groundwater and recreational opportunities from landscapes turned the attention once again to commons as an instrument for managing natural resources. Using groundwater and coastal landscapes as case examples, we pinpoint problems where outputs from the landscape are multiple consisting of a mix of public and private goods. In some instances central intervention is needed to ensure provision of public goods. In situations where transaction costs are too high to justify the guaranteed supply of goods, local initiatives, cooperatives and networks may be suitable regulatory alternatives to the predominant private and individualised ownership. It is concluded that the management regimes chosen should reflect the dominant functionality of the area in question.

Suggested Citation

  • Henrik Vejre & Jens Abildtrup & Niels Kærgaard & Bo Fritzbøger & Anne Gravsholt Busck & Søren Bøye Olsen, 2012. "Revitalisation of Common Use in Management of Modern Multifunctional Landscapes," Landscape Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(6), pages 637-657, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:clarxx:v:37:y:2012:i:6:p:637-657
    DOI: 10.1080/01426397.2012.705821

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