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2016 GGSD Forum - Session 2: Presentation by Ms. Marie Cugny-Seguin, Natural System and Sustainability, European Environment Agency


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Presentation on the urban sprawl challenge in Europe

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2016 GGSD Forum - Session 2: Presentation by Ms. Marie Cugny-Seguin, Natural System and Sustainability, European Environment Agency

  1. 1. Urban sprawl, a remaining challenge European Environment Agency and Swiss Federal Office for the Environment OECD Green Growth and Sustainable Development Forum 2016
  2. 2. Approaching the land system in Europe Responses Governance, planning, land recycling, etc. Driving forces Environmental and socio-economic processes Pressures Changes in land use and management State Land multifunctionality Impacts Degradation of ecosystems and services, costs, etc. Supply Demand
  3. 3. What are the cumulative trends in Europe? Land use changes CORINE Land cover, EEA 1990 2012
  4. 4. … but land take is increasing! 4
  5. 5. Artificialisation continues… 5
  6. 6. Relative contribution of land-cover categories to urban and other artificial land development Land take gains… land cover losses 6
  7. 7. Important loss of high-nature value farmland 7
  8. 8. Increasing landscape fragmentation
  9. 9. Urban sprawl is an ongoing process in Europe  Expansion of low density urban areas  Spread of patchy, scattered and discontinuous urban areas  Expansion of urban areas far outpacing population growth  Land up-take mainly in surrounding agriculture areas  Leap-frogs process leaving plenty of agriculture enclaves
  10. 10. With significant cumulative effects on environmental services  Fragmentation of habitats  Soil sealing resulting in the loss of soils functions  Alterations of water cycle and water quality  Changes in microclimate conditions resulting in heat island effect  Air pollution, noise, light pollution  GHG emissions due to energy fossil use for transport by car  Degradation of landscape amenities…
  11. 11. Yet, other problems are not always recognised • Car-dependency and risk of ‘fuel poverty’ • Need for / costs of infrastructure • Long travel-time for commuting • People living far from activities and jobs • Health problems related to stress and pollution • Isolated people, in particular ageing and most vulnerable people • Remoteness from public services
  12. 12. Resources management: cities more efficient than rural areas Less land for building, less energy for transport and heating, less roads, etc.
  13. 13. Ecosystems inside and around cities • Share and distribution of green urban areas • Urban or peri-urban forests or parks The “grey” urban system • Availability of roads • Affordable and efficient public transport • Cost of transport and fuel • Private car ownership • Urban design encouraging walking and cycling • Enough density to supply good quality public services Society and economy • Demography, • Rising living standard • Household size • Housing preference • Inner city problems • Price of land and real estate market • Economy growth • Governance and planning Challenges can be seen throughout the urban system
  14. 14. Challenge 1: Working with nature Enhancing ecosystems / green areas inside and around cities Timber production Flood regulations Food production Local climate regulations Aesthetic values Habitat services Carbon sequestration Recreation
  15. 15. Challenge 2: Working with society Values Behaviour Lifestyle Culture Political system Institutions Economic system Legal system Knowledge
  16. 16. Cities can be “locked-in” to consumption and production patterns for decades. Challenge 3: Improving the “grey” urban system
  17. 17. Measures to control urban sprawl in Switzerland  Revision of Swiss Spatial Planning Act (Loi Fédérale 2014) - Expansion of building zones is possible only if an evaluation demonstrates that there will be a need in the future based on the projected increase of population  Some municipalities and cantons have also rigorous limitations: the measures of the Canton de Zug:  Separation of settlement areas from non-settlement areas  Boundaries of the city delimit the extend of the built-up area  Reinforcement of areas in core cities and close to the most important intersections of public transport  Autorisation for high density of built-up areas Result: The weighted urban permetation has decreased by 11% between 1980 and 2010
  18. 18. Measures to control urban sprawl in Germany  How to do?  Limitating land take in the urban fringe  Densifying and revitalising the inner cities  Land recycling and enhancing the productivity of land  Safegarding open spaces  Taking soil qualities into account  Monitoring  With what instruments?  Objectives of the National Sustainable Development Strategy (2007) ‘By 2020, land take for new housing and transport developments is to be limited to 30 ha/day’ Photo: Land recycling - Dresde  Trans-regional trade with certificate (Flächenzertificate)  All towns and municipalities together can consume non –artificial land within the limits of the 30 ha/day
  19. 19. Thank you!