Factors determining agricultural land conversion in the EU

Ustaoğlu E.

10th International Academic Conference on Economics, Business, Technology and Social Sciences, Batumi, Georgia, 11 - 12 June 2022, pp.8

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Batumi
  • Country: Georgia
  • Page Numbers: pp.8
  • Abdullah Gül University Affiliated: Yes


The rapid expansion of urban areas due to population and economic growth is associated with an increasing demand on limited land resources and has led to changes in land use. Changing land use patterns are the result of complex interaction between the human, physical environment and policy settings and critical for land use policy and environmental management process. Therefore, the information on the pattern of land use/cover change and its drivers is fundamental to support planning and land management decisions. The objective of this study was to quantify the agricultural land use changes to urban uses in the studied 25 European Union (EU) countries and identify geo-physical characteristics, location, policy-related factors and socio-economic elements to explain the changes. The dynamics of agricultural land from 2000 to 2006 was quantified using the European Corine Land Cover maps developed by the European Environment Agency (EEA). Other European sources were used to obtain socio-economic, geo-physical, climate and policy related data. A Seemingly Unrelated Regression (SUR) method was adopted to quantify the heterogeneous drivers of agricultural land conversion to residential, industrial/commercial and recreation uses. The results showed that a combination of socio-economic drivers, policy-related factors, geo-physical characteristics and location explain agricultural land conversion processes in European countries. Through quantifying the dynamics of agricultural land uses and drivers of their changes, the study provides a solid foundation for land cover/use change analysis and modelling.