Artificial land cover (tsdnr510)

Indicator Profile (ESMS)

Data tables: tsdnr510

Compiling agency: Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat)


Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Metadata update
3. Statistical presentation
4. Unit of measure
5. Reference Period
6. Institutional Mandate
7. Confidentiality
8. Release policy
9. Frequency of dissemination
10. Dissemination format
11. Accessibility of documentation
12. Quality management
13. Relevance
14. Accuracy
15. Timeliness and punctuality
16. Comparability
17. Coherence
18. Cost and Burden
19. Data revision
20. Statistical processing
21. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)
Eurostat Quality Profile
14.1. Accuracy - overall High
16.1. Comparability - geographical High
16.2. Comparability - over time not available
20.1. Source data ESS

Description of Eurostat quality grading system under the following link.



For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT

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1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat)

1.2. Contact organisation unit

E4: Regional statistics and geographical information

1.5. Contact mail address

2920 Luxembourg LUXEMBOURG


2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 26/01/2016
2.2. Metadata last posted 26/01/2016
2.3. Metadata last update 26/01/2016


3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

This indicator measures the total artificial area with its subunits of total build-up area and total artificial non built-up area divided by the total surface area of land cover in the country.  It provides a view on the share of artificial land cover on the total land.

Eurostat collects land cover and land use data through LUCAS – a Land Use and Cover Area frame Survey. Data are available for 2009 and 2012. It is envisaged to conduct a survey every three years.

The indicator presents data for the two available years. Regarding 2009, data for four EU countries (BG, CY, MT, RO) are missing. The value provided for EU-27 regards only the rest 23 EU countries. For 2012, data exist for all 27 EU Member States. Comparability of land cover data over time (2009 and 2012) should be treated with caution due to the changes in the total coverage, the amendments introduced in the classification for the 2012 survey and the time that has elapsed since the first phase sample was stratified.

Land is a finite resource and land taken by urban development and infrastructure presents a high risk of being irreversible. It consumes mostly agricultural land and increases fragmentation of habitats, thus causing risk to these natural resources.

“Built-up areas” cover areas with buildings and greenhouses whereas artificial non built-up areas include streets and sealed surfaces. Total land cover is the surface area of land in the country including artificial land, cropland, woodland, scrubland, grassland, bare land, water and wetland.

 

'Built-up areas´ (tsdnr510) is a Sustainable Develoment Indicator (SDI). It has been chosen for the assessment of the progress towards the objectives and targets of the EU Sustainable Development Strategy. It is also a Resource Efficiency Indicator and figures as a dashboard indicator in the Resource Efficiency Scoreboard. It helps assess of progress towards the objectives of the Europe 2020 flagship initiative 'A resource-efficient Europe'.

 

tsdnr510 table in Tables by themes: Eurobase > Tables by themes > General and regional statistics > Land cover and land use (LUCAS) > Built-up areas


tsdnr510 table within the SDI set: Eurobase > Tables on EU policy > Sustainable Development Indicators > Natural resources > Land use > Built-up areas


tsdnr510 table within the Europe 2020 set: Eurobase > Tables on EU policy> Europe 2020 Indicators > Resource efficiency > Dashboard indicators > Land > Built-up areas

3.2. Classification system

Classification in DPSIR (Driving forces, Pressures, State, Impact, Responses): Pressures

3.3. Coverage - sector

Eurostat has drawn up land use and land cover statistics to NUTS level 2 on the basis of the data collected on these points.
The data refers to the land use/cover area frame survey (LUCAS). LUCAS is the acronym of Land Use and Cover Area frame Survey. In the LUCAS survey 235 000 points were visited by 500 field surveyors on the spot. Those spots were selected from a standard 2 km grid with in total around 1 million points all over the EU. The land cover and the visible land use were classified according to the harmonized LUCAS land cover and land use nomenclatures.

The LUCAS classification is characterised by:

  • clear separation for land cover and land use
  • full hierarchy
  • comparability with other existing land cover/use systems
  • separation for land cover and land use


Most of the existing information on land cover and land use is based on mixed nomenclatures of land cover and land use (i.e. the CORINE Land Cover classification).  Land cover is the physical cover of the earth´s surface and land use is the socio-economic function of the land. The same nomenclature is applied in all EU countries in the LUCAS survey. The land cover classification contains 8 main land cover categories (LUCAS Annex 1 - Nomenclature):

  • artificial land (e.g. built-up areas), cropland, woodland, shrubland, grassland, bare land, water and wetland;
  • Built-up areas are areas with buildings and greenhouses but exclude non-built-up areas of artificial land, for example streets and sealed surfaces;
  • Land is accounted for in two ways: as bio-geographical land cover (e.g. built-up areas) and as socioeconomic land use;
  • Built-up areas are roofed constructions built for permanent purposes which can be entered by persons;
  • Built-up areas comprise the following land according to LUCAS: Annex 1 - Nomenclature;
  • buildings with 1 to 3 floors;
  • buildings with more than 3 floors;
  • greenhouses.
3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

LUCAS: Eurostat collects land cover and land use data through LUCAS a Land Use and Cover Area frame Survey. It was launched in spring/autumn 2009 simultaneously in 23 EU countries. Five hundred field surveyors visited the identified points and collected information on land cover, land use and selected agro-environmental indicators for 234 700 points distributed among 23 Member States. Landscape diversity was recorded along a 250 m-long line eastwards from each point (the LUCAS transect). Each visit was documented by numerous photographs, which form an important part of the LUCAS dataset, especially in terms of landscape description. For a more detailed description see the "Manual of Concepts on Land Cover and Land Use Information Systems".
Built-up areas: Built-up areas consist of roofed constructions built for permanent purposes which can be entered by people. They include: i) roofed constructions with one to three floors or less than 10 meters of height in total; ii) roofed constructions with more than three floors or more than 10 meters of height in total and; iii) greenhouses.
Non built-up areas: This category consists of non built-up area features (e.g. yards, farmyards cemeteries car parking areas etc.) and non built-up linear features (roads, railways, runways, bridges) characterized by an artificial and/or impervious cover of hard artificial materials, concrete, or gravel. 
Artificial land: Artificial land is defined as the total of built-up areas plus artificial non-built-up areas.
Land cover: Land cover is defined as the physical cover of the earth´s surface. The same nomenclature is applied in all EU countries in the LUCAS survey. The land cover classification contains 8 main land cover categories (LUCAS Annex 1 - Nomenclature): artificial land, cropland, woodland, shrubland, grassland, bare land, water and wetland.

3.5. Statistical unit

The statistical unit is a portion of land of circular shape and a conventional dimension of 1.5 meter radius (extended to 20 meters in specific cases). Please refer to LUCAS Annex 6 - Instructions for surveyors, for more detailed information.

3.6. Statistical population

The reference population is the EU territory (area).

3.7. Reference area

The reference area is the total area of the EU countries included in the LUCAS survey with the exception of the following territories (islands):
   - Canary and Balearic - 7400 km2 + 5000 km2 (ES) 
   - Azores and Madeira - 2333 km2 + 828 km2 (PT) 
   - Western+Orkney+Shetland - 3071 km2 + 990 km2 + 1466 km2 (UK)

The areas of these territories sum up around 5/000 of the total area of EU.


Due to the difficulties to reach points located in very remote areas, points to be visited in the field were selected among those:
   - belonging to mainland (small islands not connected to mainland by bridges were excluded);
   - located in areas with elevation below 1000 meters.

As a consequence:
   - in the 23 Countries covered by 2009 round, 6 out of 248 NUTS2 regions were not surveyed and no estimates are available for them;
   - types of land cover that mainly appear at a high altitude or in inlands could be underestimated (lakes, permanent snow).

The list of the missing NUTS2 regions includes Balearic Islands (ES53), Ceuta (ES63) and Melilla (ES64) in Spain, Åland (FI20) in Finland, Voreio Aigaio (GR41) and Notio Aigaio (GR42) in Greece for a total of 15,412 km2. Those NUTS2 areas correspond respectively to 8%, 0.03% 100% and 52% of the total area of NUTS1 they belong to (Este, Sur, Åland, Nisia Aigaiou and Kriti).

3.8. Coverage - Time

Data are available for the years 2009 and 2012. Regarding 2009, data for four EU countries (BG, CY, MT, RO) are missing. The value provided for EU-27 regards only the rest 23 EU countries. For 2012, data exist for all 27 EU Member States and the EU-27 aggregate regards all of them.

3.9. Base period

Not applicable.


4. Unit of measure Top

- Share of the total surface area of land in the country
- Km2


5. Reference Period Top
The reference period is the calendar year.


6. Institutional Mandate Top
6.1. Institutional Mandate - legal acts and other agreements
In the context of The Roadmap to a Resource-Efficient Europe, the indicator has been chosen as an indicator for the Resource Efficiency Scoreboard.
6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing
Not applicable.


7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy
Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics (recital 24 and Article 20(4)) of 11 March 2009 (OJ L 87, p. 164), stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society.
7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment
LUCAS data are not confidential.


8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar
The indicator follows the LUCAS data releases. It is envisaged to repeat the survey every three years.
8.2. Release calendar access
Not available
8.3. Release policy - user access

In line with the Community legal framework and the European Statistics Code of Practice Eurostat which disseminates European statistics on Eurostat´s website (see item 10 - ´Dissemination format´) respecting professional independence and in an objective, professional and transparent manner in which all users are treated equitably. The detailed arrangements are governed by the Eurostat protocol on impartial access to Eurostat data for users.


9. Frequency of dissemination Top

The indicator follows the LUCAS frequency of dissemination. It is envisaged to repeat the LUCAS survey every three years.


10. Dissemination format Top
10.1. Dissemination format - News release

Not applicable

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

Not available

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

Eurostat Eurobase data table
Eurostat Eurobase graph
Eurostat Eurobase map

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

The LUCAS primary data (numerical variables and photographs link).

10.5. Dissemination format - other

Statistics Explained: Land cover and land use (LUCAS) statistics

Statistics Explained: LUCAS - Land use and land cover survey


11. Accessibility of documentation Top
11.1. Documentation on methodology

According to LUCAS, 98% of the required applicable documentation is provided.

Eurostat: LUCAS Methodology

Please refer also to the metadata file Land cover and land use, landscape (LUCAS)

11.2. Quality management - documentation
Please refer to the metadata file Land cover and land use, landscape (LUCAS)


12. Quality management Top
12.1. Quality assurance
Please refer to the metadata file Land cover and land use, landscape (LUCAS)
12.2. Quality management - assessment
In the framework of Eurostat Quality Assurance Framework, LUCAS survey underwent an External Peer review. For the result of the final assessment please refer to the metadata file Land cover and land use, landscape (LUCAS)


13. Relevance Top
13.1. Relevance - User Needs

Key policy question: Does the previous trend of increasing share of artificial land cover built-up area in the total area come to a halt?
Key message: During the recent decades the share of artificial land cover built-up area in the total area increased remarkably. However as population density and economic activities are different across Europe no general rate is defined as a target rate. Moreover the aim is to reuse areas previously used for instance for industrial purposes (brownfield development) instead of establishing build-up areas on agricultural or woodland areas (greenfield developments) and to ensure that the trend of the increasing share of artificial land cover built-up area comes to a halt.
Rationale: Land is a finite resource and land taken by urban development and infrastructure presents a high risk of being irreversible.

13.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction
No user satisfaction survey has been conducted yet.
13.3. Completeness

See data availability for table tsdnr510.


14. Accuracy Top
14.1. Accuracy - overall

High

The accuracy of LUCAS data is tackled at Eurostat level, by eliminating as much as possible non-sampling errors and by calculating sampling errors. The missing data phenomenon is almost negligible in the survey. In case surveyors could not reach the points they were obliged to fill in the field form on the basis of the information that he/she could guess from erial photographs.
(See the description of Eurostat quality grades)
14.2. Sampling error
Please refer to the metadata file Land cover and land use, landscape (LUCAS)
14.3. Non-sampling error
Please refer to the metadata file Land cover and land use, landscape (LUCAS)


15. Timeliness and punctuality Top
15.1. Timeliness
Data collection took place between spring and autumn 2009, and the statistics were published according to the schedule in early October 2010. Figures for 2012 were published t + 9 months later (September 2013).
15.2. Punctuality
Not applicable.


16. Comparability Top
16.1. Comparability - geographical

High

Full harmonisation and comparability with reference to LUCAS.
16.2. Comparability - over time

not available

Data for 2012 were available in September 2013. Information on comparability over time will be available soon.


17. Coherence Top
17.1. Coherence - cross domain

Please refer to the metadata file Land cover and land use, landscape (LUCAS)

17.2. Coherence - internal

Please refer to the metadata file Land cover and land use, landscape (LUCAS)


18. Cost and Burden Top

 The burden connected with the collection of the raw data is covered with the LUCAS reporting. The calculation of this indicator is done by Eurostat and no relevant extra burden appears to the Member States. Please refer to the metadata file Land cover and land use, landscape (LUCAS). The calculation of this indicator is done by Eurostat and no relevant extra burden appears to the Member States.


19. Data revision Top
19.1. Data revision - policy

The indicator is updated every third year: a new year is added and old data may be revised.

19.2. Data revision - practice
The published data should be regarded as final, unless otherwise stated. Corrections and revisions might occur.


20. Statistical processing Top
20.1. Source data

ESS

Data set: Land use
Data set provider: Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat), based on data from Member States
Link to the data source:
Land covered by artificial land by NUTS 1 regions (lan_lcv_art); Landcover: Total land cover (LC), Artificial Land (LCA), Build-up areas (LCA1), Artificial non build-up areas (LCA2)

20.2. Frequency of data collection
Data on this indicator are available since 2009 and will be collected periodically every third year.
20.3. Data collection
Please refer to the metadata file Land cover and land use, landscape (LUCAS)
20.4. Data validation
Please refer to the metadata file Land cover and land use, landscape (LUCAS)
20.5. Data compilation
The data processing involves two main stages:
- Data imputation for partial missing data concerning imputation of detailed land cover classes for photo-interpreted points in cropland
- Estimates production of land cover and land use through traditional two-phase estimator for stratification
20.6. Adjustment
Not applicable


21. Comment Top

References:
Eurostat (2010): Land Use/Cover Area frame Survey. Results on EU land cover and use published for the first time. Eurostat Newsrelease. 145/2010 - 4 October 2010
Eurostat (2011): Statistics Explained: Land cover, land use and landscape
Manual of concepts on land cover and land use information systems
Statistics in Focus No 33/2008: New insight into land cover and land use in Europe

Copyrights:
Eurostat Copyright/License Policy is applicable.


Related metadata Top


Annexes Top