|Abstract: ||Land take is the “Change of the amount of agriculture, forest and other semi-natural and natural land taken by urban and other artificial land development. It includes areas sealed by construction and urban infrastructure as well as urban green areas and sport and leisure facilities” (European Environment Agency, 2013).
The EC indicates that land take in the EU amounted to more than 1,000 km2 per year between 1990 and 2000, decreasing to about 920 km2 between 2000 and 2006 (European Commission, 2011), and that, as a consequence, the objective of no net land take by 2050 would imply a decrease rate of about 800 km2 per year.
Land take in Italy parallels the difficult general situation of EU countries. Figures at the national level put in evidence that in 2009 a 7.3% of the Italian land had an artificial land cover (European Commission, EUROSTAT, 2010), with an average growth rate of about 6% between 1990 and 2000 and of about 3% between 2000 and 2006 (ISPRA, 2011, p. 479). The implementation of analyses of land-taking processes at the regional level is problematic since currently available geographic databases and information systems do not provide systemic information on the phenomenon (CRCS, 2012).
However, some Italian regional administrations, such as Lombardy and Sardinia, have set up regional information systems that may help address land-taking processes. The geographic information systems of these regions allow to estimate land take and to relate it with spatial, economic and planning-policy related variables, and to infer on correlations between such variables and the land-taking phenomenon.
We study the land-taking process through the land cover maps of Sardinia, made available in 2003 and 2008 by the Sardinian regional administration1. The results and inferences of our study could be easily generalized to other Italian and EU regions, under the necessary condition that geographic databases and maps were available for these contexts as well.
This paper is organized as follows. In the second section we propose the definition of land take for the purpose of this paper. We feel that we have to clarify what we mean by land take, which is a rather controversial issue. In the following section, we discuss the influence of the factors/variables found relevant on land take that could be taken into account to define regional planning policies to limit or possibly prevent land take, and, by doing so, help implementing the EC recommendation on no net land take by 2050 into EU regional policies.|