Survey methodologies of urban land uses: An oddment of the past, or a gap in contemporary planning theory? | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
April 2019
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ISBN / Resource ID: 

The primary objective of this article is to review the evolution of urban land-use survey methodologies during the last century, with a special focus on the methodologies concerning field surveys that are conducted for urban planning purposes. Our review reveals, on the one hand, that there has been a steep decrease of interest in the further development of these methodologies over the last 50 years, and, on the other, that they have been seriously trivialized, as shown by the simplistic and empirical approach to land-use survey methodology in contemporary textbooks. Next, the article explores three possible explanations of the contemporary situation: (a) there is no potential for further development of field survey methodologies of urban land uses, (b) urban land uses are no longer significant to the analysis and planning of urban space, and (c) technologies, such as remote sensing and crowd-sourcing geo-platforms, have rendered field surveys of urban land uses obsolete. The article concludes that none of the above explanations is true, thus there is an obvious gap in contemporary urban planning theory with regards to the survey methodology of urban land uses, and this omission has a strong negative impact on the potentialities of urban analysis.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Pissourios, Ioannis A.


Land Use Policy is an international and interdisciplinary journal concerned with the social, economic, political, legal, physical and planning aspects of urban and rural land use. It provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and information from the diverse range of disciplines and interest groups which must be combined to formulate effective land use policies.

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