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Article Urban soil sealing in Europe
Soil is the earth's living skin and provides us with essential services for life in our planet: production of food; infiltration and cleansing of water and protection against flooding; habitat for plants; areas for recreation and mental health; micro climate regulation, etc. It is such a crucial resource that it can't be ignored. However, particularly in urban areas, soil is being sealed off with increasing housing and infrastructure.
Located in Articles
Figure Elbe catchment area: evolution of exposure to flood in the period 1990-2000
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Figure Conversion of regional ecosystems (biomes)
The bars show, for each biome, the fraction of potential area lost by 1950 (pale blue), lost between 1950 and 1990 (blue) and the projected loss by 2050 (dark blue).
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
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 Dresden-Prague corridor, scenario location
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Highlight World Forest Day highlights multiple threats on forests
Forests cover over 30 % of the earth's surface. They are one of the most important 'storehouses' of biological diversity on land and play a key role in regulating our planet's climate. Their importance and the wide array of threats on world's forests are in the spotlight during the World Forest Day 21 March and the UN International Year of Forests 2011.
Located in News
Figure Degree of soil sealing, as a percentage of total land area, in European countries, 2006
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Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Figure Effective mesh density (number of meshes per 1 000 km2) for NUTSX (combined NUTS 2 and 3) regions, 2009
Three different groups of regions can be distinguished: (1) heavily urbanised regions with a population density higher than 100 inhabitants per km2; (2) ex-urban, generally semi-rural, beyond the suburbs of a city, but experiencing major urban influences such as commuting, and semi-rural regions; (3) rural and remote regions.The heavily urbanised regions have an effective mesh density above 100 meshes per 1 000 km2. On average, these regions are 40 times more fragmented than ex-urban ones. Ex-urban regions have an effective mesh density between 20 and 100 meshes per 1 000 km2. On average, this group is 15 times more fragmented than agricultural (rural) regions. This last group of regions has an effective mesh density ranging from 0.2 to 20 meshes per 1 000 km2.
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
File Nature and biodiversity — SOER synthesis chapter 3
Located in The European environment — state and outlook 2015 Synthesis The European environment – state and outlook 2010: Synthesis
File Links between environmental challenges — SOER synthesis chapter 6
Located in The European environment — state and outlook 2015 Synthesis The European environment – state and outlook 2010: Synthesis
European Environment Agency (EEA)
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