The Use of a Piece of Land
This material is replicated on a number of sites as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service Project
This activity is designed to engage students in a practical exercise in land use planning; to make the students aware of the positive and negative aspects of land use laws and local zoning ordinances through role-playing. The students represent groups interested in purchasing the same piece of land. Each group must research to devise a plan that is legal and attractive and present proposals to convince the current owners to sell the land to their group. The instructor is advised to use a real plot of land so that real land use laws can be researched.
- To engage students in a practical exercise in land use planning.
- To make the students aware of the positive and negative aspects of land use laws and local zoning ordinances.
Context for Use
Teaching Notes and Tips
References and Resources
A general reference for an exercise like this is:
Anastasio, D.J. and Latta, D.K. 2000. Land Use Debate. Journal of Geoscience Education, v. 48(5), p. 593. HTML
For Maine, useful sites would include what the state says about land use, as well as what the county/city thinks. Most states have GIS data available to the public.Resources for Teaching about Land Use with GIS:
- University of Connecticut's Center for Land Use Education and Research has a useful list of links to National Geospatial Databases.
- Spatial Consensus-building Through Access to Web-based GIS: An Online Planning Tool For Leipzig ( This site may be offline. ) is a paper that explains the decision-making process.