EU-LUPA - European Land Use Patterns

Main focus

Land use has changed drastically during the last fifty years (ESA SP 2006) sometimes with important negative effects such as urban sprawl, soil sealing, loss of biodiversity, soil erosion, soil degradation, floods or desertification. The type of land use change varies among different types of regions.

Based on the hypothesis that socio-economic activities are reflected in land use the project understands land use as how the land is used and how it is related to socio-economic activities. This means that at a single point multiple uses can be present.

Until now, land use and land use change in Europe have been mainly addressed from a thematic perspective. There is a need to integrate all these different sector views. Land use characteristics are becoming increasingly multi-functional, crossing not only sectors but also administrative borders. Thus, the objective of the project is to develop a consistent methodology for analysing comparable information about European regions and cities, based on data from different sources and at different levels.

Moreover, the project aims to supply regionalised information integrating the physical dimension (land cover) with socio-economic (land use) and environmental dimensions, in order to understand land use dynamics, land use changes and current land use patterns in the European territory, identifying main challenges in different types of territories, regions and cities and defining the policy recommendations to cope with the challenges.

Please read more about the main research areas and main results envisaged on the next page.

Lead Partner

Labein-Tecnalia-Technology Centre, Spain

Detailed information on the contracted project team can be found under Transnational Project Groups.

Sounding Board

Alma Zavodnik Lamovsek, Slovenia
Daniel Kampus, Austria

Budget: € 788 668.00

Project’s lifetime: July 2010- April 2013

Delivery of Reports

Inception Report: 03 December 2010
Interim Report: 03 June 2011

Draft Final Report: 01 June 2012
Final Report: 05 October 2012


Reports will be published once they are approved by the ESPON Monitoring Committee

More information

Please contact the Project Expert at the ESPON Coordination Unit: 

Marjan VAN HERWIJNEN, e-mail: [email protected]

Main research areas

  • Current European land use patterns and land use changes, dynamics and trends over the last 16 years (1990-2000-2006) as well as the driving forces behind.
  • Assessment of to what extent existing land use patterns throughout Europe are in line with the general spatial development principles and how this picture will look like if no extra policy action is taken and new territorial dynamics come into play
  • Relations between land use patterns (and more specifically urban land use patterns) and drivers of development such as geographical, demographic and cultural influences, climate change, transport, employment, GDP and other economic structures
  • Efficiency of land use patterns efficient in relation to these aspects taking into account the relations between urban areas and open space (non-build areas)
  • Assessment of the land use development and land use patterns in particular types of regions
  • Evaluation of how these developments can (e.g. through cooperation initiatives) be coordinated and create a development potential.

Main results envisaged

  • Identification of scope of existing spatial data and information related to the aspects of land use (urban, non-urban, rural, natural, etc.), land use patterns, land use change (dynamics and trends) and policy-relevant typologies
  • Methods of measuring and monitoring land use processes (data and indicators development)
  • Input to the ESPON database (data, indicators, typologies)
  • Maps visualizing land use processes in Europe in different administrative levels (European, national, regional and local): where are the areas of urban land use and fragmentation, connected areas and stepping stones for rural land use and high quality open space? Mapping European land use patterns and land use change
  • Relations between specific land use patterns and performance of European regions, between urban areas and open space at a certain distance, between urban sprawl and specific features (e.g. mountains) and between land use efficiency and aspects such as population, transport, employment, GDP and how can these relations be measured and visualised and which of
    these relations are suitable to use in territorial research at European scale
  • Spatial distribution and specifications of land use development patterns in cross-border regions and the differences between patterns inside neighbouring cross-border regions and between border regions and inland


Final Report - Executive Summary

  • Acrobat Document | 534KB

Final Report - Main Report

  • Acrobat Document | 2.34MB

Final Report - Main Scientific Report

  • Acrobat Document | 118KB

Final Report - Scientific Report, Land Use Characterization in Europe: Analysing land use patterns using typologies

  • Acrobat Document | 5.36MB

Final Report - Scientific Report, Land Use Functions and their linked to land use performance and efficiency

  • Acrobat Document | 12.05MB

Final Report - Scientific Report, Regional Land Use Performance and Land Use Efficiency: approaches for evaluation

  • Acrobat Document | 359KB

Final Report - Scientific Report, The Urban Dimension in the EU-LUPA project

  • Acrobat Document | 346KB

Final Report - Scientific Report, Case Study Methodology and Regions Overview

  • Acrobat Document | 1.16MB

Final Report - Scientific Report, Case Study Jeleniogórski Subregion, Poland

  • Acrobat Document | 7.34MB

Final Report - Scientific Report, Case Study Øresund Region

  • Acrobat Document | 3.66MB

Final Report - Scientific Report, Case Study The Eurocity in the context of the Basque Country Region

  • Acrobat Document | 8.35MB

Final Report - Scientific Report, Case Study Chełmsko-Zamojski Region

  • Acrobat Document | 2.09MB

Final Report - Scientific Report, Case studies Land Cover Changes

  • Acrobat Document | 292KB

Final Report - Scientific Report, Land change typology in the context of the case studies

  • Acrobat Document | 3.61MB

Final Report - Scientific Report, LUF and indicator assessment for EU-LUPA case studies

  • Acrobat Document | 553KB

Final Report - Scientific Report, Policy options and recommendations

  • Acrobat Document | 2.25MB

Final Report - Scientific Report, Stakeholders Workshop Report

  • Acrobat Document | 823KB

Draft Final Report - Executive Summary

  • Acrobat Document | 259KB

Draft Final Report - Main Report

  • Acrobat Document | 2.63MB

Draft Final Report - Scientific Report

  • Acrobat Document | 45.19MB

Interim Report

  • Acrobat Document | 1.28MB

Interim Report - Annex

  • Acrobat Document | 3.38MB

Inception Report

  • Acrobat Document | 486KB

Inception Report - Annexes

  • Acrobat Document | 835KB

Project Specification

  • Acrobat Document | 83KB