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Animation (swf) Welcome to a PRELUDE of Europe's future!
PRELUDE is an EEA project to simulate five contrasting future environmental scenarios for a Europe affected by changing patterns of land use, climate change, agriculture and demographics. The scenarios were created by a group of policy-makers, interest group representatives, experts and independent thinkers from across Europe, combining qualitative analysis and quantitative modelling. This mindstretcher allows you to see how different conditions prompted the various outcomes.
Located in Environmental topics Environmental scenarios Multimedia
Indicator Assessment chemical/x-pdb Land take (CSI 014/LSI 001) - Assessment published Feb 2011
Land take by the expansion of residential areas and construction sites is the main cause of the increase in the coverage of urban land at the European level. Agricultural zones and, to a lesser extent, forests and semi-natural and natural areas, are disappearing in favour of the development of artificial surfaces. This affects biodiversity since it decreases habitats, the living space of a number of species, and fragments the landscapes that support and connect them. The annual land take in 36 European countries was 111 788 ha/year in 2000-2006. In 21 countries covered by both periods (1990-2000 and 2000-2006) the annual land take increased by 9 % in the later period. The composition of land taken areas changed, too. More arable land and permanent crops, forests, grasslands and open spaces and less pastures and mosaic farmland were taken by artificial development then in 1990-2000. 
Located in Data and maps Indicators Land take
Figure Urban sprawl along the Rhone corridor: south of France (1990-2000)
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Figure D source code Urban sprawl 1990-2000 in the province of Venice using a 1 km x 1 km grid
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Figure Dresden-Prague: scenarios of urban land use development - late 2000-2020
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Figure Low density residential areas as a proportion of all residential areas built after the mid-1950s, selected European cities
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Figure Intensity of urban sprawl 2000–2006 in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania (above) and Ireland (below)
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Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Figure D source code Rings of 1 km around the centre of Lyon
Example of calculation
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Highlight Urban sprawl eating into wildlife habitats in Europe
As cities expand into the countryside, the habitats of many animals and plants are reduced. Roads, railways, car parks and buildings also split up habitats, dividing wildlife populations into increasingly smaller groups.
Located in News
Figure Energy consumption for passenger transport versus density
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100