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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)
october 2023

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DOI : 10.35690/978-2-7592-3837-8

DOI : 10.35690/978-2-7592-3254-3

Soil artificialization is a recent concept, initially responding to the concern to quantify the loss of land available for agricultural use through changes in land use. Today, it refers to the overall reduction in the proportion of land devoted to agricultural and forestry activities or to natural areas, thus going beyond the strictly agricultural dimension.
Land artificialization and land that has already been "artificialized" have become, particularly in France, a major issue of public debate and political concerns. Land artificialization is thus seen as one of the main factors in the erosion of biodiversity, which explains why, since 2015, the rate of land artificialization is one of the 10 "Wealth Indicators" developed by the Government to monitor its public policies.In this context, the French Ministry of Ecology, the French Agency for Ecological Transition (ADEME) and the French Ministry of Agriculture, Agrifood, and Forestry wanted to have access to scientific knowledge that would enable them to better identify the economic and social determinants of soil artificialization, its impacts on the environment and on agriculture, and the levers for action likely to limit its development and negative effects. They entrusted IFSTTAR (now université Gustave Eiffel) and INRA (now INRAE) with the task of carrying out this collective scientific expertise. The main conclusions are presented in this book first published in French in 2019.


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

List of Authors

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Language(s): English

Publisher: Éditions Quae

Edition: 1st edition

Collection: Matière à débattre et décider

Published: 31 october 2023

EAN13 eBook [ePub]: 9782759232543

EAN13 eBook [PDF]: 9782759238378

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

DOI eBook [PDF] : 10.35690/978-2-7592-3837-8

Pages count eBook [PDF]: 168

Interior: Colour

Reference eBook [ePub]: 02748EPB

Reference eBook [PDF]: 02748NUM

Size: 3.21 MB (ePub), 5.38 MB (PDF)

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