Landfills and land pressure
Europe is one of the most intensively used continents in the world. As a result, a big part of its land is used for settlements, production systems or infrastructure. Furthermore, the demand for land is still rising due to the growing population, resulting in an increased land pressure. According to the EURELCO network, Europe counts more than 500,000 landfills. Under the concept of Dynamic Landfill Management, these landfills should be reintroduced in their environment in the most optimal way (recycling of materials and land). When there is a higher land pressure, landfill redevelopment projects will become more feasible as a high land pressure will have an increasing impact on the value of the land. Criteria that are related to land pressure can be the price of housing, price of the land, average income per capita, population density, (un)employment rates or demographic predictions. When redeveloping landfill sites with high land pressure, the development of green fields can be reduced, thereby saving valuable, untouched natural lands.
Hence, it can be interesting and valuable to detect landfills in areas with a high land pressure, prioritising their redevelopment based on the needs of the environment. In order to do this, predictive models in terms of land use and land pressure can be of great use when assessing the redevelopment or landfill mining potential of a landfill. This requires small-scale regional models, based on the characteristics and trends within the specific regions.
In Flanders, there is the RuimteModel Vlaanderen, managed by the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO). The RuimteModel Vlaanderen in a toolbox for spatial analysis, simulation and optimalisation and includes an extensive spatial database composed of the most recent available data on land use. It searches for model-based solutions for spatial challenges on a regional scale (Flanders). With the simulation tool in the RuimteModel, the changing land use can be estimated for a medium-term (2030/2040/2050) and is mainly used for the development and analysis of land use scenario’s. These kind of scenario’s simulate developments by taking observed land use dynamics of the past into account, as well as specific policy measures that affect spatial dynamics. The RuimteModel also includes a specific ‘prioritising model’ that is developed to assign a specific score to certain locations based on location specific information as well as on the broader context of the environment at the location.
In Wallonia, the experience of the RuimteModel Vlaanderen has been applied to the Walloon region with the SMARTPOP project. Within the project, they developed a compliant land cover and land use mapping methodology, resulting in a projection for future land pressure in Wallonia, up to 2050. Multiple maps on land use and land cover are available on the SmartPop website. For the current land use, the Walous project has created maps based on remote sensing, which can differ from the land planning map.
For Germany, GIS data is available on the German Geoportal in which different thematic maps and data sources are included. In case of land use, there are different maps available.
For the United Kingdom, land cover maps are available here. The maps indicate the land cover change between 1990 and 2015.