Artificialised Land and Land Take: What Policies Will Limit Its Expansion and/or Reduce Its Impacts?

  • Maylis DesrousseauxEmail author
  • Bertrand SchmittEmail author
  • Philippe Billet
  • Béatrice Béchet
  • Yves Le Bissonnais
  • Anne Ruas
Part of the International Yearbook of Soil Law and Policy book series (IYSLP, volume 2018)


Jointly commissioned by the ministries responsible for the environment (MTES) and agriculture (MAA) and the public agency for the environment and energy (ADEME), the IFSTTAR (French Institute of Science and Technology for Transport, Planning and Networks) and the INRA (National Institute of Agronomic Research) have carried out a collective scientific report (ESCo) on land take that addresses its measurement, causes and consequences, as well as policies to limit its expansion or negative effects. This article presents some of the conclusions from this exercise, which involved 55 scientific experts and is based on knowledge from more than 2500 international academic and technical references. The aim here is to investigate this complex process, as well as the uses that come under the definition of ‘artificialised land’, by attempting to distinguish the processes by which land use and soil functions change as a result of urbanisation, an unavoidable social phenomenon. Only after clarifying these basic processes can we examine the public policy instruments and regulations that, in France, aim to limit land take and its negative effects whilst allowing for further development of human activities. We show that some of these tools could be effective but are often ill-adapted, in particular with regard to the variety of issues resulting from land take, which depend on the type of land cover (urban, peri-urban, rural) and on the specific uses of these areas.


Land take Soil sealing Public policy Impacts 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maylis Desrousseaux
    • 1
    Email author
  • Bertrand Schmitt
    • 2
    Email author
  • Philippe Billet
    • 3
  • Béatrice Béchet
    • 4
  • Yves Le Bissonnais
    • 5
  • Anne Ruas
    • 6
  1. 1.Laboratoire Géomatique et Foncier, ESGT-CNAMLe MansFrance
  2. 2.INRA, CESAER, UBFCDijonFrance
  3. 3.EVS-IDELyonFrance
  4. 4.IFSTTAR, GERS-EE; IRSTVNantesFrance
  5. 5.INRA, LISSAHMontpellierFrance
  6. 6.IFSTTAR, COSYS-LISISMarne-La-ValléeFrance

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