1st Edition

Urban Expansion, Land Cover and Soil Ecosystem Services

Edited By Ciro Gardi Copyright 2017
    320 Pages 80 Color & 128 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    332 Pages 80 Color & 128 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    332 Pages 80 Color & 128 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    More than half of the world population now lives in cities, and urban expansion continues as rural people move to cities. This results in the loss of land for other purposes, particularly soil for agriculture and drainage. This book presents a review of current knowledge of the extension and projected expansion of urban areas at a global scale.

    Focusing on the impact of the process of 'land take' on soil resources and the ecosystem services that they provide, it describes approaches and methodologies for detecting and measuring urban areas, based mainly on remote sensing, together with a review of models and projected data on urban expansion. The most innovative aspect includes an analysis of the drivers and especially the impacts of soil sealing and land take on ecosystem services, including agriculture and food security, biodiversity, hydrology, climate and landscape. 

    Case studies of cities from Europe, China and Latin America are included. The aim is not only to present and analyse this important environmental challenge, but also to propose and discuss solutions for the limitation, mitigation and compensation of this process.


    Fernanda Guerrieri

    Part 1: Introducing and Understanding the Process

    1. Is Urban Expansion a Problem?

    Ciro Gardi

    2. Measuring and Monitoring the Extent of the Built Environment: Methodologies and Data Available

    Michele Munafò and Luca Congedo

    3. Measuring and Monitoring the Extent of the Built Environment: From the Local to the Global Scale

    Daniele Ehrlich, Aneta J. Florczyk, Andreea Julea, Thomas Kemper, Martino Pesaresi and Vasileios Syrris

    4. Modelling and Projecting Urban Land Cover

    Carlo Lavalle, Filipe Batista e Silva, Claudia Baranzelli, Chris Jacobs-Crisioni, Ana Luisa Barbosa, Jean-Philippe Aurambout, Ricardo Barranco, Mert Kompil, Ine Vandecasteele and Carolina Perpiña Castillo

    5. Drivers of Urban Expansion

    Stefan Fina

    Part 2: Impact of Land Take and Soil Sealing on Soil-related Ecosystem Services

    6. Urban Expansion and Impacts on Ecosystem Services: An Overview

    Mitchell Pavo-Zuckermann and Richard Pouyat

    7. Impact of Land Take on Global Food Security

    Ciro Gardi

    8. Hydrological Impact of Soil Sealing and Urban Land Take

    Alberto Pistocchi

    9. Impact of Land Take on Biodiversity

    Geertrui Louwagie, Mirko Gregor, Manuel Löhnertz, Ece Aksoy, Christoph Schröder and Erika Orlitova

    10. Impact of Land Take and Soil Sealing on Carbon Storage

    Klaus Lorenz and Rattan Lal

    11. Urban Sprawl, Soil Sealing and Impacts on Local Climate

    Luigi Perini, Andrea Colantoni, Gianluca Renzi and Luca Salvati

    12. Impacts of Urban Sprawl on Landscape

    Marie Cugny-Seguin

    Part 3: Case Studies

    13. Italy

    Michele Munafò and Luca Congedo

    14. Urban Land Expansion and its Impacts on Cultivated Land in the Pearl River Delta, China

    Xiaoqing Song and Zhifeng Wu

    15. Urbanization in Mexico as Cases for Latin America

    René R. Colditz, María Isabel Cruz López, Adrian Guillermo Aguilar Martínez, José Manuel Dávila Rosas. and, Rainer A. Ressl

    16. Dar es Salam

    Michele Munafò and Luca Congedo

    Part 4: Policy and Good Practices

    17. Limitation, Mitigation and Compensation

    Stefano Salata and Gundula Prokop

    18. Policy, Strategy and Technical Solutions for Land Take Limitations

    Stefano Salata

    19. Soil Sealing and Land Take as Global Soil Threat: The Policy Perspective

    Luca Montanarella

    20. Conclusions

    Ciro Gardi


    Ciro Gardi works in the Animal and Plant Health Unit of the European Food Safety Authority, Parma, Italy. Previously, he was a Senior Scientist at the Land Resource Management Unit of the Joint Research Center of the European Commission and Professor of Soil Science at the University of Parma. He has served as an independent expert and consultant for the European Commission, World Bank, OECD and several NGOs and is currently a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative, representing it in the Global Soil Partnership (FAO).

    "I hope the planners of the world will take notice of books such as this when making sure that they mitigate the damage to soil structure, drainage and ecosystem services." - British Ecological Society Bulletin (December 2017)