Land take and net land take

Dashboard (Tableau)
Prod-ID: DAS-106-en
Published 10 Sep 2019
1 min read
This interactive data viewer provides a set of dashboards giving an overview of the land take and net land take processes for Europe (EEA39 and EU28) derived from the CORINE land cover data series. Statistics are derived for every 6 years of the acquisition period, as well as for the entire period (2000-2018). The viewer facilitates the assessment of land take over a specific period as well as the land use drivers of the observed changes, which can be analyzed within user defined spatial units such as administrative regions, biogeographical regions or land cover classes.

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Land taken by urban areas and infrastructure is generally irreversible. It results in soil sealing, i.e. the loss of soil resources due to covering the land for housing, roads or industry. Urban land take consumes agricultural land and reduces space for habitats. Areas converted to artificial surfaces are only able to support few functions related to socio-economic activities and housing. Converting land to artificial surfaces reduce the potential of ecosystems to provide important services such as the regulation of the water balance and protection against floods. Land occupied by man-made surfaces and dense infrastructure also fragments the landscapes. It is also a significant source of water, soil and air pollution.


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Land take Land take as a result of the expansion of residential areas and construction sites is the main cause of the increase in urban land coverage in Europe. 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 and fragments the landscapes that support and connect them. Between 2006 and 2012, the annual land take in the European countries (EEA-39) assessed in the 2012 Corine land cover (CLC) project was approximately 107 000 ha/year. The figure for the 2000-2006 period was approximately 118 000 ha/year. In the 28 countries 1 covered by all three CLC assessment periods (1990-2000, 2000-2006 and 2006-2012), annual land take decreased by 10.5 % between 2000 and 2006, and by 13.5 % between 2006 and 2012. In absolute values, the annual land take in these 28 countries was 114 000 ha/year (1990-2000), 102 000 ha/year (2000-2006) and 98 500 ha/year (2006-2012). Between 2000 and 2006, more arable land and permanent crops were taken by artificial development than between 1990 and 2000, while fewer pastures and less mosaic farmland were taken over the same period. In fact, between 2006 and 2012, the types of land most taken for artificial development were arable land and permanent crops, followed by pastures and mixed agricultural areas.   1 The 28 countries covered by all three CLC assessment periods are AT, BE, BG, CZ, DE, DK, ES, EE, FR, GR, HR, HU, IE, IT, LT, LU, LV, ME, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, RS, SI, SK, TR and UK.

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