Land and soil in Europe

The EEA Signals 2019 ‘Land and soil in Europe’ explains key pressures — such as urban sprawl, contamination, intensive use of agricultural land, landscape fragmentation — impacting Europe’s land and soil. Today, artificial surfaces (buildings, roads, urban facilities) cover less than 5 % of the wider EEA territory and continue to grow despite slowing down in recent years. Almost three quarters of Europeans live in urban areas and continued urban sprawl is often threatening productive land used for farming as well as forests and other areas home to wildlife and vital ecosystems.

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