ESPON - European Land Use Patterns (EU-LUPA)

The objective of EU-LUPA consists in providing a consistent methodology to analyze comparable information about European regions and cities - based on data from different sources and at different levels – and supply regionalized information to policy makers

The European Union is characterized by varying, historically developed governing and planning systems. Those differences in land use decision processes – due to the different pattern of legal, administrative and constitutional frameworks – have an impact on land use changes themselves. Therefore, they represent an aspect, which macro-regionally shapes Europe. At the same time, while the EU does not have any competence to regulate land use and local planning, there are several policies that have strong territorial impacts. These include: the Habitats Directive, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP), the Territorial Agenda of the European Union, and most recently, within the 5th Cohesion Report. However, given the complexity of processes that drives land uses and land use changes, a comprehensive understanding of their sustainability impacts requires a consistent framework for the integration of scales and themes. This is currently lacking and is a major challenge for the policy and scientific community.

The objective of EU-LUPA consists in providing a consistent methodology to analyze comparable information about European regions and cities - based on data from different sources and at different levels – and supply regionalized information to policy makers. Specifically, this includes the integration of the physical dimension (land cover) with the socio-economic (land use) and environmental dimensions in order to obtain and understand land use patterns and dynamics in the European territory. This will allow for the identification of key challenges in different types of territories, regions and cities, and help define the policy options and recommendations to cope with these challenges.