Contested Territory – The Climate Crisis & Land Ownership
Architecture is the construction of structures. Structures designed to be used as living spaces, workspaces, or places for religious devotion, among other purposes. Architectural projects and interventions, however, need land – and it is this intrinsic relationship, between land and architecture, that has massive ramifications not only regarding reducing carbon emissions but more importantly in forming an equitable future rooted in climate justice.
The built environment citiesThe world we live in is not an isolated entity. It is influenced by many systems that govern how our societies operate today. One of those systems is the law – through which contracts can be disputed, lawsuitsare presented, and which govern who is entitled to land in settlements around world. The sad truth is that urban buildings all over the globe are being destroyed. monopolisedCorporations. Many times, these large structures degrade the urban tissue.
This phenomenon of urban properties being concentrated in the hands of a fewAlso, it takes place in the midst of a larger discussion about climate change. Even though halfConsidering the large number of people who have made their homes in cities and the importance of rural areas, the question of who is the owner of the land in rural areas is vital. valueRural-urban interdependence for the realization of more equitable societies Secure land tenureIf climate change is to be addressed in its entirety, it is important that rural communities are supported by forests.
Indigenous and community lands around the world, for example, are hugely important carbon sinks – absorbing the world’s carbon and holding at least 22% of the carbonStored in tropical and subtropical forest. In PeruWhile interventions in the urban environment by organisations such as Ocupa tu Calle While they played a crucial role in the creation of animated public space, the South American country’s forests have seen dramatic spatial interventions.
The relatively recent titling of indigenous land in the Peruvian Amazon has meant that forest disturbance and clearing has been greatly reduced, with this granting of legal ownership of forests to indigenous people a highly efficient way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions caused by deforestation – especially with the consideration that forests are fundamental in generating rainfall across continents. The health of the world’s forests plays a substantial part in making our cities more habitable, meaning that the legal framework of who owns them matters.
In contemporary conversations, climate change is well-known for its impact on the strong. rise in extreme weather eventsOver the years. These events are also influenced by land tenure. Floods in 2000 Limpopo Valley Mozambique, seen by someThey were an early indicator that climate change is causing extreme weather events. However, major land disputes were not a problem following the disaster. This was mainly due to strong decision-making institutions at the local level, which despite mostly being informal, are recognised by the country’s Land Law in the absence of formal documentation – allowing for the much faster rebuilding of settlements affected by the disaster in the absence of drawn-out disputes over land ownership.
You will find them in places like BangladeshLand ownership is possible precarious for disadvantaged communities after extreme weather events. The roots of Bangladesh’s land laws lie in the British colonial period, where land revenue was the largest source of income for the provincial government. Surplus land is also known as khas – The country was settled by paying deposits equal to the land’s market price. Thus, only those who had financial power could obtain such land settlements.
Today’s land laws in BangladeshAlthough they were reformated from the colonial period, they are still merely reformations on paper. The many floods or cyclones which have affected BangladeshMany rural households are now without land and the land is no longer suitable for cultivation. These households often settle on new land. Khas land, which is officially state-owned but results in a highly insecure existence due to murky laws and complex administrative procedures – inaccessible to rural populations who often are poor and illiterate. Rural communities such like Rajapur village in southern India are called Rajapur. BangladeshImportant information is also available knowledge of vernacular building traditions that mitigate destructive natural disasters – making their legal status of land ownership all the more important with the alarming frequency of climate-induced disasters on the planet.
As we consider how we can make our cities less carbon-emitting, it is important not only to examine current land ownership systems, but also to understand the importance rural communities play in mitigating the many consequences of climate change.