Radial analysis and scaling of urban land use

Rémi Lemoy, Geoffrey Caruso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We determine the functional form and scaling law of radial artificial land use profiles in 300 European functional urban areas (FUAs). These profiles, starting from a fully artificial surface in the city center, decrease exponentially, the faster the smaller the city. More precisely, the characteristic decrease distance scales like the square root of total population, meaning that the artificial surface of cities is proportional to their population. This also means that the amount of artificial land per capita is independent of city size, and that larger cities are not more or less parsimonious in terms of land use than smaller ones.
Original languageEnglish
Article number22044
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2021


  • radial artificial land
  • functional urban areas
  • FUAs
  • Europe
  • cities

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