Intrigued by Mark Easton’s question on Twitter, “How much of Britain is built on?”, and inspired the associated article, The great urban myth of Britain, I wanted to put the UK NEA‘s statement that “6.8% of the UK’s land area is now classified as urban” into some kind of context that actually made sense to me.
The obvious answer is that 6.8% of the UK is just short of 2 million football pitches. Unfortunately, this is still not actually something I can remotely picture (much like genuinely imagining more than 10 otters is a tall order). The best solution I could come up with was to put the information in the context of actual geography:
And here is the original report from which the numbers were sourced, for posterity: UK National Ecosystem Assessment.
UPDATE: I have written a short critique of this graphic that also provides some insight into how it was created and the figures behind it.