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Artificialized land and land take

Drivers, impacts and potential responses

by Maylis Desrousseaux (editorial coordination), Béatrice Béchet (editorial coordination), Yves Le Bissonnais (editorial coordination), Anne Ruas (editorial coordination), Bertrand Schmitt (editorial coordination)
may 2020

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DOI : 10.35690/978-2-7592-3254-3

As a major reservoir of biodiversity, soils are essential for many ecosystem services such as food production, climate regulation, flood mitigation, water quality and air quality. Considered as one of the main factors in erosion of the biodiversity, land take describes the global reduction in the proportion of land allocated to farming and forestry or to natural spaces. This work identifies the decisive economic and social factors in land take and its impact on the environment and agriculture. It carries out a summary of the state of knowledge – as complete as possible – of the determinants and impacts related to land take in France and attempts to identify policy tools through a multidisciplinary approach combining life sciences and economic sciences. It highlights the specific problems associated with this phenomenon.


The french version of this book, Sols artificialisés, is available on our website.

La version française de ce titre, Sols artificialisés, est disponible sur notre site.

Table of contents


‘Land Take’, an ambiguous scientific concept
     The statistical measurement of this concept remains uncertain …
     … but is increasingly used in the public debate
     Is the sealing of surfaces synonymous with land take?
     Urbanization, a major driver of land take, continues beyond city borders

Chapter 1 - Methods of measuring the extent of land take in France
     Objectives and methods for measuring land use change
     Measurements and trends in land take in France
     Conclusions and policy tools

Chapter 2 - The impacts of land take on the characteristics and properties of soils
     Impacts of artificialization on the physical, physicochemical and chemical characteristics of soils
     Impacts of land take on soil organisms and biodiversity
     Strategies to limit the impacts of artificialization on soil properties
     Limitations of available studies and identification of research needs

Chapter 3 - The direct and indirect impacts of land take on the characteristics and functioning of artificialized environments
     Impacts of land take on landscapes, habitats and plant and animal species
     Impact of land take on urban hydrology and stormwater management
     Impacts of artificialization on the physical urban environment

Chapter 4 - Agricultural land, agricultural activities, and land take
     Direct impacts of land take on agricultural production
     Income from agricultural land, a driver of land use changes
     Local factors influencing the likelihood of agricultural land being converted to artificialized land
     Conclusions and policy tools

Chapter 5 - Household location strategies and housing construction
    Housing preferences, urban sprawl and peri-urbanisation
     Land and property policies to limit urban and peri-urban sprawl
     Conclusions and policy tools

Chapter 6 - Determinants of land take by enterprises and transport infrastructure
     Business and industry location strategies
     Transport infrastructure in France
     Conclusions and policy tools

Chapter 7 - Avoiding or reducing land take, or possibly compensating for its effects
     The legal and fiscal drivers of land take
     Mechanisms to avoid or control land take
     Mechanisms to reduce the effects of land take
     Mechanisms to compensate for the effects of land take

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Language(s): English

Publisher: Éditions Quae

Edition: 1st edition

Collection: Matière à débattre et décider

Published: 27 may 2020

EAN13 eBook [ePub]: 9782759232543

DOI eBook [ePub] : 10.35690/978-2-7592-3254-3

Interior: Colour

Reference eBook [ePub]: 02748EPB

Size: 3,2 Mo (ePub)

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