What are the extent, degree, dynamics and spatial pattern of surface sealing (imperviousness) in Europe?

Policy Question
Indicator codes: LSI 002
This is an old version, kept for reference only.

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Key messages

(30 Nov 2016)

  • Between 2009 and 2012, soil sealing (or imperviousness) increased in most EEA-39 countries by a total of 2 051 km2. This corresponds to 0.0356 % of the total EEA-39 area or an annual average increase of 683 km2. Overall, this rate of increase is lower than that documented in the 2006-2009 products, although this can be put down to a general overestimation of sealing increase in the 2006 and 2009 datasets. 

  • In 2012, the percentage of a countries' total area that was sealed also varied greatly, with values ranging from 0.14 % to 16.27 %. The highest sealing values, as a percentage of country area, occurred in small countries with high population densities, while the lowest sealing values could be found in large countries with low population densities. The most problematic situation occurs in countries where there is already a high percentage of sealing and where the annual rate of increase relative to country area is high.


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