Inderscience Publishers

A 'laboratory' of landscape degradation: social and economic implications for sustainable development in peri–urban areas

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The present paper debates on human–derived landscape degradation (LD) and sustainable development reviewing the main factors of soil and land degradation in northern Mediterranean peri–urban areas, taken as paradigmatic cases for Europe and the Mediterranean basin. Population growth and urban sprawl were found as the most important factors determining soil sealing, land consumption, biodiversity decline and loss in natural resources. The multifaceted interactions observed between socioeconomic and biophysical factors were also highlighted. The study discusses an integrated set of measures as a policy instrument for sustainable land management of Mediterranean peri–urban areas.

Keywords: social inequalities, territorial disparities, agriculture, soil degradation, urbanisation, landscape degradation, social implications, economic implications, sustainable development, sustainability, peri–urban areas, population growth, urban sprawl, soil sealing, land consumption, biodiversity decline, resource loss, natural resources, socioeconomic factors, biophysical factors, policy instruments, sustainable land management, Mediterranean

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