Soil sealing causes an irreversible loss of soil and its functions. The surrounding areas of cities are usually subject to considerable growth and urban sprawl e.g. due to residential, commercial and industrial activities. This phenomenon usually affects very productive soils since most European settlements were generated in fertile regions in view of food security. In the EU, about 1,000 kmĀ² are annually subject to land take for housing, industry, roads or recreational purposes, of which ~50% of surfaces are sealed.