Two main gaps in the migration literature are, firstly, a lack of a clear link showing how data on migration is related to land use change, and secondly, the use of demographic trends, for example, based on levels of fertility and mortality rates, to give a prognosis of migration into the future. We try to address these gaps by making inferences and postulating hypotheses on the effect of migration on the landscape – based on data from land cover maps and field observation in affected areas and by considering important driving forces and factors, the way they affect migration change, and their subsequent contribution to land use change.
It is useful to relate studies of land use change to the so-called “DPSIR” framework (drivers, pressures, states, impact and response) (EEA) so that demographic, environmental, economic or technological drivers can be understood as setting the conditions leading to migration which then places pressures on the land (or a release of pressure) leading to a change of state (eg increased urbanisation, sprawl, land abandonment). This new state produces impacts on environmental services (such as reduction in green areas) or quality of life (such as increasing crime or commuting time) and which call for responses by national and local government (such as restricting certain types of migration or by reducing the impact).
The main objective of this paper is thus to review, identify and quantify (as far as possible with the data available) the range and type of migration pressures and to define these for the future in terms of anticipated land use changes at the NUTSx level. Data limitations demand that projected land use changes are mostly descriptive at this point owing to the quality of the data.