The continued sealing of the surface
Just looking at Germany shows the impact urbanization has on the continued sealing of the earth´s surface through concrete, roads, pavement and other means. The percentage of sealed surfaces climbed from 1992 to 2011 from 5,2% to already 6.2% of the total landmass. This translates into more than 20.000 km² and an increase of almost 3000 km². COnsidering that such sealed surface pose a tremendous challenge not only for the water management especially during thunderstorms and floods it also has a huge impact on the flora and fauna.
The German government has started an initiative to declare 2% of its landmass by 2020 as Wilderness or wild areas up from only 0,5% in 2012. The Wilderness Management Plan for Germany is proposing a set of diverse measures to reach that goal. One of the proposed activities is the enlargement of the core zone of existing national park to a Wilderness category as proposes be the European Wilderness Quality Standards and another means is the designation of more national parks like the brand new one in the Black Forest.
These new areas are a first attempt to offset the negative impact of urbanization as demonstrated in these pictures from the new book Ciphers from Christoph Gielen.