Most Midwestern land is privately owned, and most of this private land is in poor ecological condition—dominated by chemical-dependent monocultures or ever-expanding housing subdivisions.
Are there hidden mechanisms in our system of land ownership that discourage ecological stewardship and sustainability? An analysis was conducted upon the land ownership system of the US—i.e. the laws and norms which establish land rights, responsibilities, and usage. The analysis was conducted with a biomimicry-based sustainability model; this model uses a component-level review that can help to ferret out poorly functioning aspects of very complex systems. The analysis focused on how numbers of owners, parcel shape, land transfers, taxing, zoning, parcel size, and residency may be enhancing or detracting from environmental stewardship and human sustainability.
Results of this analysis will be presented, with an aim of fostering interactive discussion with the audience.