Assume 40-44 trees per person, and an absolute minimum of 20 for urban areas. Each tree should have a minimum of 1/64 an acre of space, or about 700 square feet - It is recommended that each tree has 1/32 of an acre. These proportions guarantee that each tree has ample space to grow and prosper, as well as providing for underbrush, proper drainage, and proper space for maintenance. It also guarantees each person has enough oxygen to breathe, as well as producing group behavior that promotes ecological sustainability.
Of the 57.51 million square miles of land surface on the Earth, 13%, or 7.4763 million square miles are considered arable.
Given an acre is 1/640 of a square mile, and growing/raising food for consumption requires about 8-12 acres (adjusted for waste acreage, such as landfills or stockpiles, as well as commercial and industrial development), plus 1 acre of land for trees, and 1/4 an acre of living space typically found in suburban areas, each human being needs approximately 11 and 1/4 acres, or 0.0175781 square miles. This does not necessarily mean that each person should own and maintain 11 and 1/4 acres, but it does mean that 11 and 1/4 acres is the average each person should need to be completely independent from outside help.
7,476,300 / 0.0175781 = 425,319,005
When the amount of arable land is divided by the amount of land each person should have, the appropriate world population should oscillate around 425,319,005 people. This number also assumes that the need for freshwater is satisfied, regardless of location.
|A SimCity 4 rough estimate of Green Rule land usage. The building in the bottom-right corner is an elementary school. |
In the simulation, the city has surplus tax revenue, even with medical, water, fire, and wind power services.
Our current world population is therefore at an extremely high peak and is unnatural. Historically, this can be seen by simply looking at a chart of population over time.
|Courtesy DDS Research|
Given human psychology, and the dynamics of nature, it is safe to postulate that any drastic reduction in human population will be the result of apocalyptic war or natural catastrophe. This is besides the point; The point is to bring attention to the severe lack of space each person is granted through a quantified analysis of land area.
With low populations, the land area available to each human being is easily granted, even when individuals do not actually own the land. With high populations, people are forced to adapt to cramped urban environments, which are dependent on agricultural mechanization and industrial efficiency. If those systems fail, entire generations of people are left without the ability to survive.
A redistribution of land wealth might curb the problem temporarily. Aside from making particularly established and powerful individuals upset, areas with unreasonably high population, such as India, China, USA, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Russia, Japan, and Mexico could distribute land based on current educational status. Considering standardized testing is a fairly new concept in human history, a very effective test would need to be devised and distributed en-masse in order to attempt a fair distribution. (Edit: On further investigation, standardized testing in any form seems to fail due to the differences between how various people learn and apply knowledge. Simply establishing a minimum standard would be a monumental achievement.) Enforcement without military and government involvement as well as without major public backing could and predictably would result in chaos.
Required agriculture education could provide a solid base for future generations to be equipped with enough knowledge to survive without commercial and industrial provisions. Even this minimally invasive method would require huge capital investments in education. In many countries, these investments would be deemed wasteful due to the difficulties of maintaining or even beginning effective infrastructure and food supply.
Redesigning urban spaces over the next century to follow Green Rule specifications might offer some relief, and would push people towards developing rural areas. This method would have to be headed by the city, county, and local wealthy residents, and would require a lot of social policies to change the way cities handle poverty.
In conclusion, the Green Rule recommends that each person needs 11 and 1/4 acres to be sustainable and in mutual agreement with their natural environment. This is the bare minimum. If concessions are made to where a wealthy individual only owns 1 and 1/4 acres, ownership of the 10 arable acres may be gifted/sold to someone else. Individuals cannot own more than 45 acres, and the proportions for land usage remain. This dictates that individuals who are particularly successful or in-tune with growing crops may own more land. The prerequisite would consist of surplus harvests on a consistent (yearly) basis.
Land ownership by governments is relegated by the number of people working for the government at a 1:1 ratio. If 10 people, including mayor, council, secretaries, and janitors work for a city, then the city can maintain 112 and 1/2 acres of land. This also serves to dictate the land usage for the government. For the same 10 government employees, 2 and 1/2 acres are used for city governance buildings, 10 acres are used for trees and wildlife reserves, and 100 acres for public arable or potable land or water, and infrastructure.