Built Land Footprint

This component includes all areas that have been built on, for example industrial sites, roads and houses. The built land ecological footprint for the South West in 2001 was 1.3 million gha (0.26 gha per person). This accounted for 5% of a South West resident's ecological footprint. The built land type with the largest ecological footprint was commercial/industrial (incl. hydro) with 0.12 gha per person. Table 10 shows a breakdown of the built land ecological footprint, by land use.

Table 10
Built land ecological footprint of a South West resident, by land use, in 2001
Built land use Hectares per person (ha) Per person ecological footprint (gha) % of total built land ecological footprint
Total built land 0.049 0.26 100%
of which…  
Housing land 0.018 0.10 37%
Transport-related land use 0.009 0.05 17%
Commercial/industrial use (incl. hydro) 0.022 0.12 46%
Source: ONS, 2001a

The built land ecological footprint is affected by several factors:

  • Population size;
  • Local land types and uses;
  • Bioproductivity;
  • How much area is available; and
  • Efficiency of land use, for example dense urban living compared to suburban sprawl.

The average UK built land ecological footprint is 0.32 gha per person, whereas due to its rural nature, the South West's built land ecological footprint per person is considerably smaller.