Land use

About 80% of Europe’s surface area is shaped by land use in cities, agriculture and forestry

We cannot live without well-managed, multi-functional lands. Land is the terrestrial foundation of society; it is the platform for infrastructure and for residential, commercial and industrial areas, and is a source of economic growth. However, an increasing share of our planet’s land area is in some way modified by human activities, leading to unsustainable changes in our landscapes. Together with climate change and severe weather events such as floods and drought, these changes stress land resources. In extreme cases, such changes might lead to unhealthy and degraded lands.

Environmental Accounting Reference Layers - maps

The map viewer of the Integrated Data Platform visualizes spatial datasets by web map services. Those spatial datasets are selected which are frequently used in assessments. The web map viewer enables spatial overlays so that the datasets can be interactively explored. Through exploring the datasets their potentials in environmental assessments can be better understood.

Data sources:

More information

 -For exploring contextual details about the added datasets, please activate the information icon in the upper right corner. Legends of the added datasets can be explored by activating the legend icon.

Web map services are produced in ArcGIS desktop and visualized in ArcGIS Online. Once a web map service is quality controlled, the service is registered in the Spatial Data Infrastructure and read into the IDP Web Map Viewer.

The web application offers three main functions to the user for data exploration:

  1. Search for a web map service: the search uses 1) keywords (i.e. tags such as land use), or 2) topic names (such as biodiversity). The keywords are also searched in the abstract of the related spatial dataset, which is harvested from EEA`s Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI). Hence, all datasets can be found which have e.g. Corine Land Cover in their abstract.

  2. The user is able to visualise and explore the web maps identified by the search function. Furthermore, selected web maps can be overlaid for further exploration of commonalities between spatial datasets.

  3. Once the wished services are found and explored by overlays and zoom functions, the user can find all relevant semantic information of the spatial datasets when activating the info button. These semantic information are combinations of technical information coming from the SDI and other semantics harvested from the content management system.


Imperviousness in Europe

This interactive data viewer provides accounts of land surface sealing status and change in Europe (EEA39 and EU28) for every 3 years between 2006 and 2015, measured by the high resolution Copernicus imperviousness datasets. The viewer facilitates the assessment of soil sealing over a specific period, which can be analyzed within user defined spatial units such as administrative regions, biogeographical regions or land cover classes.

European cities have the potential to lead the way towards green, sustainable future, according to two assessments on urban environmental change, published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) today.

The European Environment Agency (EEA) has developed land accounts that allow for assessing changes in land cover types. These changes can have environmental impacts, such as decline in biodiversity, reduced carbon stocks, or weakened capacity for food production and flood regulation.

Published: 27 Oct 2020

Land use and land use change are fundamental for sustainable resource use and the delivery of ecosystem services, including the provision of food, nutrient cycling and climate change mitigation through carbon sequestration. Land resources are part of our shared natural capital and must be well managed to maintain a healthy environment and human well-being (EEA, 2019b). As such, only if land use and its impacts are properly addressed is progress towards sustainable development in Europe possible. Land-use related policies require the development of harmonised datasets, transparent methodologies and easily interpretable statistics. Land accounts fit the bill, describing how land resource stocks change over time. This briefing describes the use of the EEA’s Integrated Data Platform and CORINE Land cover data for transparent, repeatable and efficient land accounting.

Published: 02 Jul 2020

Despite a strong policy framework and significant efforts by Member States (MSs) to halt biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation in Europe, the conservation status of protected species and habitats continues to decline along with the provision of ecosystem services. The new EU biodiversity strategy to 2030 addresses this decline with a plan to ‘build a truly coherent Trans-European Nature Network’. This will be built on the existing Natura 2000 network by analysing the potential connectivity between Natura 2000 sites using green infrastructure (GI) landscape elements important for delivering ecosystem services.

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