Research & Studies

Land take and land degradation in Europe’s functional urban areas – European study with iASK

The latest report from the European Environment Agency with a lead co-authorship of Gergely Tóth, deputy director of iASK summarizes trends in land take in the Functional Urban Areas (FUAs) of the European Union and the United Kingdom and the degradation effects of land take and soil sealing in the context of socio-economic situation in the regions concerned.

Functional urban areas cover 23% of the European Union’s territory and are constantly growing. The conversion of non-urban areas into cities usually involves the occupation of land at the expense of natural areas. Between 2012 and 2018, there were 3,581 km2 of new land converted in the EU, the size of more than 70,000 football pitches per year, almost half of which were built in and paved.

The report summarises the multiple degradation effects of land take and soil sealing, from landscape fragmentation to climate impacts.

The report is complemented by online browsable maps and searchable databases, which are available on the European Environment Agency’s website:

(European Environmental Agency