In this paper, we review strategic spatial planning literature published between 19.
The focus is on the phenomena causing land degradation that are addressed by strategic spatial planning literature, as well as on the mechanisms describing the role of strategic spatial planning in land degradation reduction.
In this regard, strategic spatial planning has been increasingly practised in many urban regions worldwide, as a means to achieve sustainable land-use patterns and to guide the location of development and physical infrastructures.
It is reasonable, therefore, to expect that strategic spatial planning can counteract the outlined undesired land degradation effects, specifically those resulting from soil sealing.
Several examples back the Commission’s claim that sound regional and local spatial planning in each of the EU member states can counteract the negative effects of land degradation.
The Danish Spatial Planning Act, for instance, is given as an example, because it contains strong restrictions on the construction of large shops and shopping centres on greenfield sites outside the largest cities.
Urbanization, including the construction of housing developments, the implementation of industrial sites and retail facilities, and the development of transportation infrastructures, has usually been referred to as a key driver.
In addition, land degradation is also driven by poor management of soils and water resources .
The paper concludes by sketching future research directions, intended to support strategic spatial planning and land-use policymaking related to coping with the global phenomenon of land degradation. Their ultimate outcome, however, is generally the same: the acquisition of natural resources for human needs, often at the expense of degraded environmental conditions, and thus increased pressure on land, soils, and water resources [1,2].
As a result, land degradation has become one of the most preoccupying environmental issues on global, regional, and local scales .