Spatial Planning in view of new challenges: Land take and some evidence from Greece

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The growing interest in natural resources and ecosystem services has led to increasing attention to land as a natural resource. Land degradation has been included among the key environmental degradation problems all over the planet and land take is a key causal factor. Sustainable land management is required in order that land degradation be controlled. The role of spatial planning in sustainable land management has been accentuated, due to its close relationship with land use change and rapid urbanization. From the viewpoint of sustainable development, a turning point for land gaining significant importance on a global scale has been the Rio+20 Summit, 2012, in which the aim for a “land-degradation neutral world” was expressed, leading to efforts towards the minimization of land degradation. In the context of the EU environmental policy, land take and soil protection have been highlighted from the viewpoint of ecosystem services and the strategies for conservation of biodiversity. The case of Greece is interesting in this regard, since spatial planning is influenced by the EU context while at the same time patterns of territorial organization in the country are characterized by increasing land take. Based on the above, this paper examines the way land take becomes apparent as an environmental concern as well as a spatial planning task. It also focuses on the case of Greece and examines how spatial planning is capable of addressing relevant challenges and utilizing the EU policies' framework. It endeavours to highlight challenges emerging not only to addressing land-related issues but also to transforming the approach of spatial planning towards land resilience. Keywords land degradation, land take, Greek spatial planning, ecosystem services
Planning for Transition – book of proceedings 31; 2