US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



The Geographical Review 102 (1): 53-75, January 2012.


Driving forces facilitate or inhibit land-use / land-cover change. Human driving forces include political, economic, cultural, and social attributes that often change across time and space. Remotely sensed imagery provides regional land-change data for the Northern Piedmont, an ecoregion of the United States that continued to urbanize after 1970 through conversion of agricultural and forest land covers to developed uses. Eight major driving forces facilitated most of the land conversion; other drivers inhibited or slowed change. A synergistic web of drivers may be more important in understanding land change than individual drivers by themselves.