Land recycling

Dashboard (Tableau)
Prod-ID: DAS-113-en
Published 19 Aug 2019
1 min read
Land recycling addresses the reuse of abandoned, vacant or underused urban land for new developments within FUAs (Functional Urban Areas, i.e. urban agglomerations). Land recycling is considered a response to land take within FUAs, i.e. urban development on arable land, permanent crop land or semi-natural areas. It is a key planning instrument for achieving the goal of no net land take by 2050 (EC, 2016).

More information

The land recycling indicator (https://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/indicators/land-recycling-and-densification/) comprises two concepts of urban development - land recycling and land densification.

1) Land recycling is defined as the reuse of abandoned, vacant or underused land for redevelopment. It includes ‘grey recycling’ and ‘green recycling’. Grey recycling is when ‘grey’ urban objects, such as buildings or transport infrastructures, are built under redevelopment. Green recycling is when ‘green’ urban objects, such as green urban areas or sport facilities, are built.

2) Land densification is defined as the land development that takes place within existing communities, making maximum use of the existing infrastructure instead of building on previously undeveloped land.

The land recycling indicator examines land recycling relative to total land consumption. Total land consumption is understood as all the land use processes occurring on or ending up in developed land, i.e. urban redevelopment, urban and infrastructure sprawl, and any change in previously developed land.

Land recycling includes both the densification and the recycling phenomena. Therefore, land recycling is understood broadly and includes three components: land densification, grey land recycling and green land recycling.

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