Nowadays, we are facing a global change associated with the rapid population growth and natural resources demand, which impacts are accumulated in space and during the time. Therefore, humanity could be identified as Planet’s Ecological Bigfoot. The anthropopressure disturbed the natural Earth's regulatory capacity, which could be noticed by the unavailability of freshwater, irregularly temperatures, or interrupted biogeochemical flows. Moreover, the growth of population is expected, as well as the sprawl of urbanized areas, increasing demand for living space, food and humans Ecological Footprint. Therefore, the aim of the study was the implementation of the environmental carrying capacity (ECC) approach for more sustainable spatial management, especially in the context of developing residential areas in the city-region. The research evaluates the spatial policy established by the municipalities of the city and its surroundings and presents alternative scenarios of residential areas development. The alternative scenarios were built using excluded and restricted environmental zones to protect productive ecosystems. The impact of residential areas designed in spatial documents and scenarios has been assessed using the carbon footprint (CF) and biocapacity (BC) indicators within the environmental carrying capacity (ECC) framework. The lifestyle archetypes of the city's residents and its suburban zone were used as the main input for the assessment of CF and the natural areas required to assimilate human consumption. The comparison of CF and BC allowed verifying the consumed versus available resources and to quantify the state of the environment. First of all, the research indicated the potential areas for the future development of human settlements. Secondly, the potential number of inhabitants in residential areas was assessed. Furthermore, the impact of inhabitants was quantified using the ECC approach. Finally, the surface of natural areas required for CF assimilation was assessed. The proposed approach could be relevant for spatial management, spatial policy evaluation and modeling. It could provide a management tool and policy instrument for the sustainable development of human settlements. Moreover, it proposes implementation of environmental zones for allocation of land-use for housing purpose in a more sustainable manner, which is currently not used within the ECC assessment.


  • Nowadays, we are facing the global change which could be associated with the human species impacts that “transform the environment on a planetary scale and at rates that exceed historic bounds” (DellaSala, 2018)

  • Possible future residential areas have been presented in accordance with the assumptions of the landuse division defined within the studies of each municipality (Base Scenario), as well as alternatively presented in Scenarios No 1– No 4

  • Alternative land use for residential areas was developed based on verified overlaps between the possible future residential areas and environmental zones

Read more



We are facing the global change ( known as global warming, climate disruptions, climate chaos) which could be associated with the human species impacts that “transform the environment on a planetary scale and at rates that exceed historic bounds” (DellaSala, 2018). Rural areas struggle with biodiversity loss, degradation of the environment, and reduction in the supply of ecosystem services to residents in suburban and peripheral areas (Sylla et al, 2020). The future spatial management of urbanized areas requires verification of available resources and the state of the environment (Swiader et al, 2018a) as a base for allocating land for a specific use, especially housing development. Such assessment could be provided within the framework of environmental carrying capacity (Zhang and Xu, 2010; Liu and Borthwick, 2011; Santoso et al, 2014; Wei et al, 2015; Jung et al, 2018)


Full Text

Published Version
Open DOI Link

Get access to 115M+ research papers

Discover from 40M+ Open access, 2M+ Pre-prints, 9.5M Topics and 32K+ Journals.

Sign Up Now! It's FREE

Talk to us

Join us for a 30 min session where you can share your feedback and ask us any queries you have

Schedule a call