5Socio-ecological transitions in the green spaces resource system
This chapter describes, analyses, and discusses the role of green spaces in the socio-ecological transition of European cities. In the European Union, land use changes are mostly and increasingly marked by land consumption, due to ongoing urbanisation with concomitant urban sprawl leading to a decreasing density of cities (Stefan Bringezu et al. 2014, 50). Biodiversity, threatened by the introduction of invasive species and the “replacement of natural areas by artificial green areas” (European Environment Agency 2012, 32), is additionally endangered by this development (Bringezu et al. 2014, 50). Another problem linked to the process of structural change is soil degradation and contamination on abandoned brownfield sites (European Commission 2011c, 15).