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How significant is green land recycling in Europe in relation to land take?

Policy Question
Indicator codes: LSI 008

Key messages

(26 Jun 2018)

  • Land recycling is still low in all European countries: on average, land recycling accounted for only 13.5 % of total land consumption in European cities in the 2006-2012 period.
  • The land use densification process, i.e. when land development makes maximum use of existing infrastructure, accounts for the largest proportion of land recycling. However, in most countries, land take dominates over densification in total land management with the exception of Finland and France.
  • Grey recycling, i.e. internal conversions between residential and/or non-residential land cover types, is secondary to densification, ranging from 14 % to less than 1 % of total land consumption. Land take predominates over grey recycling in total land management in all countries.
  • Green recycling, i.e. the development of green urban areas using previously built-up areas, is an important trend that reverses soil sealing, but it is a marginal process in all countries and, on average, it accounts for only 0.2 % of total land consumption.

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