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|Title:||Urban Sprawl in Europe - The Ignored Challenge|
|Authors:||KASANKO MARJO; LAVALLE CARLO; BARREDO CANO JOSE'; SAGRIS VALENTINA; PETROV LAURA; UHEL Ronan; LUDLOW David; FONS Jaume; GOMEZ Oscar; BLANES N.; ROMANOWICZ Agnieszka; SAVOLAINEN Heimo|
|Publisher:||European Environment Agency|
|Abstract:||Europe is a fascinating and diverse continent, one of the most urbanised on earth. Today, approximately 75 % of the European population live in urban areas, while still enjoying access to extensive natural or semi-natural landscapes. With its stunning urban landscapes, historical cities and cultural treasures, Europe remains one of the world's most desirable and healthy places to live. The urban future of Europe, however, is a matter of great concern. More than a quarter of the European Union's territory has now been directly affected by urban land use; by 2020, approximately 80 % of Europeans will be living in urban areas, while in seven countries the proportion will be 90 % or more. As a result, the various demands for land in and around cities are becoming increasingly acute. On a daily basis, we all witness rapid, visible and conflicting changes in land use which are shaping landscapes in cities and around them as never before. Today, society's collective reliance on land and nature for food, raw materials and waste absorption results in a resource demand without precedent in history. In Europe, our consumption patterns are completely different from what they were twenty years ago. Transport, new types of housing, communication, tourism and leisure have emerged has major components of household consumption. As most of the population live in urban areas, agricultural land uses and their functions in the countryside have consequently evolved. Today, they ensure both the feeding of the city populations and maintenance of a diminishing rural population. In this modified landscape, a powerful force is at work: cities are spreading, minimising the time and distances between and in-and-out of the cities. This expansion is occurring in a scattered way throughout Europe's countryside: its name is urban sprawl. Furthermore, it is now rightly regarded as one of the major common challenges facing urban Europe today.|
|JRC Directorate:||Sustainable Resources|
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