NRC on Land use and spatial planning

Profile 2018 - 2020


NRC LUSP is requested to support Europe 2020 Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe,  the 7th EAP (priorities on natural capital and on cities), and various aspects of urban systems, spatial planning, biodiversity and climate change adaptation as well as regional cooperation and EU structural funds spending.  There is no European competence for spatial planning while EU has territorial cohesion policy that among others could help countries to advance transparency of land use decisions for the benefit of all involved sectors.  The NRC LUSP activities will support this objective and help to build EU-level knowledge of various planning systems.

NRC LUSP is related to NRC Land Cover, that is primarily a provider of land data products (e.g. via Copernicus land monitoring) that are taken up for EEA assessments reviewed by the NRC LUSP.  Another related network NRC Soil has a distinctive yet complementary and related work programme


    • Making use of land monitoring data (e.g. Copernicus) in land use analysis
    • Targeted land use modelling incl. forward looking studies and scenarios
    • Integration of socio-economic statistics and its spatial disaggregation methods.
    • Spatial planning methods, at different spatial scales
    • Analysis of land use trade-offs and multi-functionality of land use
    • Data integration for land, ecosystem and water domains at landscape and urban level
    • Urban monitoring methods based on European information.
    • Exploring drivers of urbanisation, including institutional factors
    • Impact analysis of land related polices on land use functions, including Territorial Impact Analysis
    • Be familiar with national policies, programmes and initiatives related to land use and spatial analysis

    Policy processes to be supported

    Europe 2020: Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe (land and soil chapter)

    • 7th EAP, Priority objectives 1 and 8
    • EU Green Infrastructure Strategy (GI) – Enhancing Europe’s Natural Capital
    • EU Territorial agenda and the Action Plan – focusing on development of territorial indicators
    • EU Strategy for Climate Change Adaptation
    • SEA and EIA Directives (spatial planning and land/soil aspects)
    • Integrated coastal management strategies (proposed by Maritime Spatial Planning directive, as follow up to Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) process)
    • Water Framework Directive & Floods Directive
    • EU Regional and Urban Policy, Urban development
    • The Urban Agenda for the EU and the Pact of Amsterdam
    • Trans-European Transport Network
    • EU Thematic Strategy for Soil protection and Soil sealing guidelines

    Expected input and contributions from the NRC in 2018 - 2020

    Review of and comment on EEA products:

    • EEA technical reports on land cover changes, urban sprawl (jointly with FOEN), urban areas and sustainable cities and on soils in urban and peri-urban areas.
    • Update of CSI014 Land take indicator (based on CLC2012 and CLC2018 data)
    • EEA updates and proposals for new indicators on imperviousness, urban sprawl, landscape fragmentation, land recycling and peri-urban areas.
    • Support to EEA Green infrastructure spatial analysis and proposal for GI indicator at landscape level.

    Relevant organisations and networks

    • DG ENV
    • DG REGIO
    • DG Eurostat
    • DG JRC
    • DG AGRI
    • ESPON
    • Copernicus Land monitoring
    • EU research projects/networks
    • ICLEI Europe, Eurocities