Human-Natural System Sustainability in Buenos Aires Province, Argentina

Silvia Diana Matteucci


The Argentinean Pampean plain has been under agriculture and farming since colonial times. Its loessic soils have the highest production capacity in Argentina, in spite of which it is suffering extensive land use change due to urban expansion. The aim of this work is to evaluate the consequences of urban expansion on environmental conditions, including population welfare. An integrated analysis was carried out based on sets of ecological, physical support of production, land use and social condition variables. We hypothesize that land use change may generate unstable situations that negatively affect the natural-social system resilience, with the consequent loss of sustainability, and that this effect is perceived through the consistency among the factors on which the system resilience depends. The prediction is that a poor association between physical support and land use entails a misuse of resources that will be reflected on the social conditions.

The results show that the prediction is fulfilled in some cases but not in others. Four combinations of adjustment between physical support and land use, and their consequence on social conditions were found. Land use is reflected on the social conditions, either because of social welfare as a consequence of proper land use, or because of the adverse social conditions associated to the improper allocation of land to uses for which it is not suitable. Alternatively, either social indicators of poverty prevail despite proper land use, or social welfare occurs in the presence of improper land use. In both cases, land use is not reflected in social conditions. The consequences of the four conditions on land management planning are discussed.

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Journal of Geography and Geology   ISSN 1916-9779 (Print)   ISSN 1916-9787 (Online)

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