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The European environment – state and outlook 2010

The European environment – state and outlook 2010

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Country introduction (SOER 2010)

Urbanisation in Belgium

Key message

Belgium became highly urbanised and densely populated

Figures

Figure 2: Evolution degree of surface impermeability Brussels and surroundings (1955-2006)

Figure 2: Evolution degree of surface impermeability Brussels and surroundings (1955-2006)
Data source
http://documentation.bruxellesenvironnement.be/documents/Plan_pluie_2008-2011_RIE_FR.PDF
Figure 2: Evolution degree of surface impermeability Brussels and surroundings (1955-2006)
Fullscreen image Original link
Urbanisation

Belgium has become highly urbanised and densely populated (2008: 349,4 inh/km2 overall, 455,7 for the Flemish Region, 205,2 for the Walloon Region, and 6496,9 for the Brussels-Capital Region), soil sealing increased and urban sprawl around major cities expanded. As a result, commuting (distance) increased. For instance, in the Brussels-Capital Region, about 53 % of the 680 000 employments are occupied by people living in the two other regions (2007).

More than 60 % of the commuters use their car to go to work.

Urbanisation results among others in increased soil sealing of the territory. This impermeability of soil has notable environmental impacts: reduced water provision for ‘phreatic water tables/surfaces’ and aquifers, restricted development of vegetation (which involves impacts on biodiversity, well-being, micro-climate) and increased flood risk.

The results of a study concerning the evolution of soil impermeability in and around the Brussels-Capital Region, based on spatial analysis and remote sensing, illustrates the magnitude of the phenomenon.

For Brussels and surroundings, the proportion of impermeable surfaces increased from 26 % in 1955 to 47 % in 2006.