Evaluation of Land Use Potential and Suitability of Ecosystems in Antakya for Reforestation, Recreation, Arable Farming and Residence


Abstract: It is essential that land use decisions made by local administrations be compatible with sustainable use and management principles of natural resources. In this study, we evaluated the use potential and suitability of 27 land mapping units of 4,891 ha in Antakya for three different land use types: (1) recreation- reforestation, (2) residence and (3) arable farming. For this purpose, land suitability evaluation was carried out using soil and land data, the ŞENOL land evaluation system, and a PC compatible ILSEN software package. The study showed that a total of 478 ha of land had the potential for residential use in the west and north of Antakya. The urban growth of Antakya needs to be directed accordingly to these recommended areas instead of to the prime farmlands of Amik plain. It was determined that the majority of the land suitable for reforestation and recreation uses were in the north and north-west of Antakya, and their total land area was 1,511 ha. The quantification of both expected benefits due to sustained productivity of natural resources and environmental degradation due to unsustainable land uses assists decision makers in ensuring that land is used according to its capacity to satisfy human needs for present and future generations.

Keywords: Land suitability evaluation, land use planning, urban residence, reforestation, recreation, arable farming

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