Land-use characteristics of urban sprawl around Hungarian middle-sized towns



Publication Date

August 2022


The urbanisation of Central Eastern European Countries is low compared to the Western European examples: The rate of the surfaces affected by urbanisation is 0.14%, in the Czech Republic and 0.11% in Slovakia and Hungary(Feranec et al. 2010). The growth of new artificial surfaces (defined by Bossard et al. (2000) Nomenclature main category Nr.1) and land consumption increased after 1990, particularly in the urban catchment area (Hardi et al. 2020; Cieslak et al. 2020; etc.). Only a few studies – highlighted the capitals and cities – deal with exact spatial aspects of urban sprawl in post-socialist countries and provide evidence to spatial planning and regulation. In present study we aimed to answer the following questions: What are the most important functions of new artificial areas after the regime change in Hungarian middle-sized town and their neighbourhood? Can the urban sprawl be explained by demographic changes in study area? What kind of natural, semi-natural or agricultural areas are affected by urban sprawl? Which zones have the most intensive growth in new artificial surfaces?

To answer the questions CORINE Land Cover Change (CLC CHA) geodatabase and statistical data between 1990 and 2018 were analysed, illustrated, and interpreted for 12 Hungarian middle-sized town and their catchment areas. The first results suggest that the tendency of urban sprawl is different from the aspects of demography. Also, the authors would like to draw the attention on the importance of motorway construction in consumption of natural land and weak protection of arable land with excellent production conditions and Natura 2000 areas. Recent study provides information to regional planning by repelling the function of areas affected by land consumption.