Land degradation has expanded in the Mediterranean region as a result of a variety of factors, including economic and population growth, land-use changes and climate variations. The level of land vulnerability to degradation and its growth over time are distributed heterogeneously over space, concentrating on landscapes exposed to high human pressure. The present study investigates the level of land vulnerability to degradation in a shrinking urban area (Rome, Italy) at four points in time (1960, 1990, 2000 and 2010) and it identifies relevant factors negatively impacting the quality of land and the level of landscape fragmentation. A multi-domain assessment of land vulnerability incorporating indicators of climate quality, soil quality, vegetation quality and land management quality was carried out based on the Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) framework. The highest rate of growth in the level of land vulnerability was observed in low-density suburban areas. The peri-urban mosaic formed by coastal woodlands and traditional cropland preserved high-quality land with a stable degree of vulnerability over time. Evidence suggests that the agro-forest mosaic surrounding Mediterranean cities act as a “buffer zone” mitigating on-site and off-site land degradation. The conservation of relict natural landscapes is a crucial target for multi-scale policies combating land degradation in suburban dry regions.

Desperately Seeking Sustainability: Urban Shrinkage, Land Consumption and Regional Planning in a Mediterranean Metropolitan Area

SALVATI, LUCA;FERRARA, Agostino Maria Silvio;
2015

Abstract

Land degradation has expanded in the Mediterranean region as a result of a variety of factors, including economic and population growth, land-use changes and climate variations. The level of land vulnerability to degradation and its growth over time are distributed heterogeneously over space, concentrating on landscapes exposed to high human pressure. The present study investigates the level of land vulnerability to degradation in a shrinking urban area (Rome, Italy) at four points in time (1960, 1990, 2000 and 2010) and it identifies relevant factors negatively impacting the quality of land and the level of landscape fragmentation. A multi-domain assessment of land vulnerability incorporating indicators of climate quality, soil quality, vegetation quality and land management quality was carried out based on the Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) framework. The highest rate of growth in the level of land vulnerability was observed in low-density suburban areas. The peri-urban mosaic formed by coastal woodlands and traditional cropland preserved high-quality land with a stable degree of vulnerability over time. Evidence suggests that the agro-forest mosaic surrounding Mediterranean cities act as a “buffer zone” mitigating on-site and off-site land degradation. The conservation of relict natural landscapes is a crucial target for multi-scale policies combating land degradation in suburban dry regions.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11563/113416
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