MONET – Built-up areas

Long-term solutions must be found to maintain natural life support systems

Soils are an important life support system for humans, animals and plants. The construction of housing, roads and factories invariably results in a loss of important habitats and farmland. This is a process that is very difficult to reverse and therefore also affects future generations.

Housing and infrastructure area required increasing
  • Over a 24-year period (time between the Land Use Statistics from 1979/85 and that of 2004/09), the housing and infrastructure areas increased by 23.4%. This amounts to 584 km2 or an area equivalent to the size of Lake Geneva.
  • During the last survey, 49.4% of housing and infrastructure areas were building areas, 30.9% transportation areas, 7.8% industrial and artisanal areas, 6.4% recreational and green areas and 5.5% special urban areas.
  • The increase in housing and infrastructure area is notably due to the increasing size of residential areas, which have increased by 44% during the period observed.
  • We can see a slowdown in the growth of these areas at the end of the period observed (+13.0% between 1979/85 and 1992/97 compared with +9.2% between 1992/97 and 2004/09).
  • During the last survey, the housing and infrastructure area per capita was around 407 m2, the equivalent of about two tennis courts.



Federal Statistical Office Section Environment, Sustainable Development, Territory
Espace de l'Europe 10
CH-2010 Neuchâtel



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