Rural Landscapes: How Food Production Shapes the Land

Rural Landscapes: How Food Production Shapes the Land

Food cultivation is one of the great historical milestones of our society's development. The knowledge of agriculture was fundamental for the evolution of a nomadic society into a sedentary civilization. Centuries later, agricultural production has become one of the main contributors to the organization of the land. This phenomenon can be seen in the aerial images we have selected below.

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Early humans were generally nomadic, migrating from region to region depending on the season in search of food and water. This form of social organization changed as cultivation techniques and animal farming was discovered, which allowed groups to create permanent settlements. The introduction of agriculture as a human practice resulted in the occupation and transformation of the natural landscape in an attempt to plant and extract everything necessary for survival from the land. The first civilizations developed from agriculture.

The development of technology deeply affected agriculture, especially after the Industrial Revolution. As technology evolved, the possibilities of intervening in the natural environment increased even more, for example, with the mechanization of planting and harvesting, which allowed for increased production, and even more aggressive interventions such as irrigation systems in the desert and inter-basin transfers. So, while agriculture was responsible for connecting mankind with the land, it also became the greatest means of intervention and modification of the landscape.

We are witnessing massive interventions in the landscape to expand productive areas and, at the same time, we are facing increasing numbers of people suffering from food insecurity. The latest UN report, released in 2020, The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, estimates that up to 811 million people went hungry in 2020, most of them in Africa and Asia. Having celebrated World Food Day on October 16th, it is important to reflect on these processes of land transformation and their relation to food production. Here we have selected aerial images that show farms, plantations, and human activities related to food production.

Farmland plains meet the Nebraska Sand Hills in Nebraska, United States

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© Created by @dailyoverview Source imagery: @maxartechnologies

Agricultural fields near the Itaipu Reservoir, forming the border between Brazil and Paraguay

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© Created by @dailyoverview Source imagery: @maxartechnologies

Deforestation immediately next to a relatively untouched section of rainforest in Bolivia

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© Created by @benjaminrgrant Source imagery: @maxartechnologies

Rice Terraces in Bali

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© by @benjaminrgrant

A strip of farmland surrounded by desert in the United Arab Emirates

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© Created by @benjaminrgrant Source imagery: @maxartechnologies

Pembrokeshire County, Wales

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© Created by @overview Source imagery: @maxartechnologies

Citrus trees cover the landscape in Spain

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© Created by @benjaminrgrant Source imagery: @maxartechnologies

Deforestation of the rainforest in Bolivia

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© Created by @benjaminrgrant Source imagery: @maxartechnologies

Saltwater evaporation ponds in China

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© Created by @overview Source imagery: @maxartechnologies

Hutt Lagoon in Australia

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© Created by @overview Source imagery: @maxartechnologies

Irrigation circles in Colorado, United States

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© Created by @overview Source imagery: @planetlabs

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About this author
Cite: Martino, Giovana. "Rural Landscapes: How Food Production Shapes the Land" [Paisagens rurais: como a produção de alimento molda o território] 10 Nov 2021. ArchDaily. (Trans. Duduch, Tarsila) Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/971500/rural-landscapes-how-food-production-shapes-the-land> ISSN 0719-8884

© Created by @benjaminrgrant Source imagery: @maxartechnologies

摄影作品|乡土景观,粮食生产如何塑造土地

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