Urbanisation Costs Edinburgh Over 11 Hectares of Green Land Each Year


The report also identified some positive signs of decreases in urban area.

Edinburgh is losing the equivalent of around 15 football pitches of green land each year, much of which is due to private garden areas being paved over or built on, according to a new report. At the same time however, around a hectare a year of green land is being gained due to regeneration of old industrial areas.

Urban streets can struggle to cope with surface water when gardens and other vegetated areas, which help soak up rain, are built on or paved over. Now, the rate of this change in Edinburgh has been quantified for the first time, in a report commissioned by the Centre of Expertise for Water (CREW)

The independent study, produced by scientists at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH), looked at the two elements of urbanisation:

  • Urban creep – Individual, small-scale changes in existing urban settlements, such as building housing extensions, driveways and conservatories, or homes in gardens. This can lead to a large cumulative loss of vegetated garden and increase the risk of surface water flooding
  • Urban expansion – The development of new housing or industrial estates being built on farmland or recreational spaces. These developments are subject to rigorous planning policies to ensure they do not increase flood risk.

Continue reading at Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

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