Land Take and Soil Sealing—Drivers, Trends and Policy (Legal) Instruments: Insights from European Cities

Publikation: Beiträge in SammelwerkenAufsätze in SammelwerkenForschung


  • Sandra Naumann
  • Ana Frelih-Larsen
  • Gundula Prokop
  • Sophie Ittner
  • Matt Reed
  • Jane Mills
  • Francesco Morari
  • Simone Verzandvoort
  • Stefanie Albrecht
  • Anna Bjuréus
  • Grzegorz Siebielec
  • Tomasz Miturski
Urbanisation is an ongoing global trend that is associated with soil sealing and land take at the cost of agricultural land and other open landscape. While soil sealing and land take result in the loss of all soil functions and the loss of high-quality agricultural soils, the awareness of the magnitude and negative implications of these processes remains relatively low. In this article, we examine how seven EU cities have addressed the issues of land take and soil sealing through approaches to increase efficient land use. The cities include Cambridge, Milan, Nantes, Regensburg, Stockholm, Vienna and Wroclaw. Drawing on statistical analysis and qualitative interviews with city-level practitioners, we look at trends in soil sealing and land take and outline relevant policies and legislation that can prevent or reduce land take and soil sealing, as well as success factors and barriers to the implementation of these policy instruments. Results show that the reduction of land take and soil sealing cannot be implemented as an isolated programme but needs to be pursued as an integrated approach, together with other sustainability objectives, such as energy efficiency, conservation of agricultural land, reduction of traffic, and increase of biodiversity. Conclusions highlight the importance of a robust framework of national law and regulation and of setting quantitative land take targets taking a long-term vision of city development and assigning a value to soil. Moreover, focus should be on inner development before outer development, including the reuse of brownfields and investing in building renovation.
TitelInternational Yearbook of Soil Law and Policy 2018
HerausgeberHarald Ginzky, Elizabeth Dooley, Irene L. Heuser, Emmanuel Kasimbazi, Till Markus, Tianbao Qin
Anzahl der Seiten30
VerlagSpringer Schweiz
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-00757-7
ISBN (elektronisch)978-3-030-00758-4
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 2019