Land take by transport infrastructure
This indicator is no longer being regularly updated
Assessment made on 01 Jan 2002
ClassificationTransport (Primary theme)
- TERM 008
Policy issue: Minimise land take per transport unit
Land take by transport infrastructure is increasing
Land resources in most of Europe are relatively scarce, and achieving a sustainable balance between competing land uses is a key issue for all development policies. The spatial impact of policies (including transport) on the European territory is therefore one of the key issues in the European spatial development perspective (ESDP) and the sixth environmental action programme.
The ESDP proposes the integration of transport policy and land-use planning to specify the appropriate location of activities requiring journeys, with focus on the development of Euro-corridors. The common transport policy aims for an optimal use of existing infrastructure and some Member States have developed land-use policies restricting additional transport developments in certain areas.
Lack of up-to-date and historical land coverage data (e.g. GIS data) hampers the accurate assessment of land ï¿½consumptionï¿½ by transport. However, the increasing length of roads, particularly motorways, and the development of other roads shows that more and more land is being used for transport in the ACs as well as in the EU.
Because of its denser infrastructure networks, land taken by transport in the EU is greater than in the ACs. It is estimated that, in 1998, road and rail infrastructure claimed around 0.82 % of total surface area in the ACs and 1.3 % in the EU. Road is the biggest land consumer in the ACs as well as in the EU.
Download detailed information and factsheets
EU/AC Land take
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe’s environment.
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