Land management is the term generally given to the combination of governmental and consensual tools for ensuring that land is used in a manner that conserves resources and satisfying needs. Land management seeks to combine these tools into an integrated planning process in the pursuit of a sustainable land-use and settlement policy. Adequate building land is made available to meet needs, while the development of hitherto open spaces is reduced. In view of progressive land take in one place while large areas fall vacant elsewhere, a frugal use needs to be made of land at all levels of spatial planning (“land-resource policy”). In its National Sustainability Strategy, the federal government calls for the reduction of land take for settlement and transport purposes. At the state and local government levels, information systems (registers) are to be developed as a substantive prerequisite for careful and frugal land management.
One aim of land management is to establish a closed cycle system, a cyclical process of planning, use, discontinuation of use, vacancy, and re-use. A key substrategy is land recycling, finding new uses for sites that are no longer or not optimally used. The inner development of a community is thus given priority over outer development, limiting settlement sprawl.