URBACT LAB 1 SESSION 2 1
'Consumption' of land cover means:
(a) The expansion of built-up area which can be directly measured;
(b) the absolute extent of land that is subject to exploitation by agriculture,
forestry or other economic activities;
and (c) the over-intensive exploitation of land that is used for agriculture and
[definition source: EEA. 1997. The concept of environmental space. Copenhagen]
Terminology source: http://glossary.eea.europa.eu
URBACT LAB 1 SESSION 2 2
Europe is one of the most intensively used continents on the globe, with the highest
share of land used for settlement, production systems and infrastructure.
Artificial land cover increased by 3.4 % in Europe between 2000 and 2006 — by far the
largest proportional increase in all land use categories. Although artificial cover accounts
for just 4 % of the EU's land area, the fact that it is dispersed means that more than a
quarter of EU territory is directly affected by urban land use
http://www.plurel.net/ ( peri-urban futures)
Land uptake by urban development and transport infrastructure has been slightly faster
than in the previous decade.
EEA analysis of land-cover http://www.eea.europa.eu/ ( data source Corine land cover)
EU report (2006), Urban Sprawl in Europe, the ignored challenge
BOOK: Couch, Chris, G. Petschel-Held, and L. Leontidou. Urban Sprawl in Europe. Oxford:
LAND CONSUMPTION IN EUROPE
• UMZs are defined as
built-up areas lying less
than 200 m apart.
• Example of Rotterdam
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• At the local scale,
for example, most
Madrid in recent
occurred on former
which is typical for
urban expansion in
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By 2020, approximately 80 % of Europeans will be living in urban areas. This expansion,
often occurring in a scattered way throughout Europe's countryside, is called urban
URBACT LAB 1 SESSION 2 8
• Land is a finite resource, non renewable (according to a human time scale)
• how it is used constitutes one of the principal reasons for environmental change,
with significant impacts on quality of life and ecosystems, as well as on the
management of infrastructure.
• Land is a critical resource for food and biomass production and land use strongly
influences soil erosion and soil functions such as carbon storage.
WHY IT IS CRITICAL
• Policy responses are needed to help resolve conflicting land-use demands and
to guide land-use intensity to support environmental land management.
• Land use decisions involve trade-offs between the current high attention to
food and energy security, and more policy emphasis on multi-functionality
taking into account ecosystem and natural resource management objectives.
• The diversity of land resources and the sustainable use of territorial assets is
an aspect of the EU territorial cohesion objective.
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