It takes a brave person to predict the economic future nowadays, especially in UK agriculture. While Brexit is, inevitably, one influence, the rural sector faces many different disruptions.
In this issue of Land Journal John Varley, Estate Director at Clinton Devon Estates, considers how emerging trends may shape land-based rural businesses over the next few years. In a comprehensive and thoughtful article, he argues that agriculture is at a break point, and that it is facing four main disruptors: consumers, markets and trade; competitiveness and productivity; rural economy priorities; and environmental awareness.
Elsewhere in the issue, former Land Journal editor Roz Wrottesley reports from this year’s RICS Africa Summit. The median age on the continent is 19.4 years, and the prediction is that the population of 1.2bn will double by 2050. By the end of the century, one-third of the world is expected to be living there, and most will reside in urban areas. This will present an enormous challenge for surveyors and planners to design suitably sustainable cities, and Roz looks at some of the solutions being considered.
She also reports from Cape Town on what it was like to live through this year’s drought, and how it has changed water consumption. Our grandchildren may well think it absurd that we currently use drinking water to clean driveways, flush toilets or sprinkle over grass, she observes.
In other articles, Yvonne Rydin and Helen Pineo introduce their RICS insight paper on designing cities to promote health and well-being and the role surveyors can play, and Sue Doane and Mark Talbot from the RICS Telecoms Forum board consider problems arising in the new Electronic Communications Code.
Finally, the Land Journal is being redesigned, so you can expect the next issue to look quite different. The content will remain the same, but it will be presented in a more modern, accessible format. Your comments are welcome.
Land Journal Editor
Mike edits the Land Journal. Previously, he worked for 25 years on national newspapers as a reporter and on news desks and was Science and Environment editor of the Daily Mirror.