PL-3 :: Soil in urban areas

Soils in urban areas are threatened with using them under various functions. In case of agricultural soil it is a serious threat. In Poland 30% of agricultural land is within urban areas.
On urban areas an ecosystem should be kept, better soils should be protected on these areas to keep the habitat, to provide ecosystem functioning. E.g. soil is functioning as a water reservoir (40% of soil is porosity). In order to provide a cooling effect better soils have better “water” efficiency.
This important function and other services offered by soil in urban areas are not perceived by land management and urban administration. Soil is only treated as a set of parameters.
There is a need for raising awareness among administration and land use planning professionals on the role of soil in urban areas. It is a long process but it should be started in order to achieve the situation when soil values and role will be regarded as important factor in decision making. Similarly as in case of conservation of monuments it is not negotiated in planning decisions we should achieve the situation when conservation of valuable soil will not be negotiated in planning documents. Specific research questions:
Demand
What is a loss of soil habitat quality resulting from changing functions of urban areas?
Need for methodology of multi-criteria analysis and assessment.
Natural capital
How to use valorization of natural areas including their ecological services for sustainable use of land in urban space?
Land management
Problem of soil in urban areas. There is a need of joining the soils management and land use management in urban areas. The urban soil is not protected in Poland, where 30% of agricultural soil is in urban areas. There is no an appropriate approach to soil management in land use planning. It is also connected with changing the agricultural function into different one (e.g. housing) therefore in a consequence we have a significant fragmentation of the landscape in urban areas. Soil is not protected in urban areas. Soil is perceived only as a resource for agricultural purposes. Other ecological services of soil especially in urban areas are not appreciated.
How to ensure soil protection in urban planning and management?
Impact
The role of soil in urban areas seems to be more and more important especially in a present threats coming from climate change impact. In a global scale this threat is visible in all urban areas. Therefore there is a need of scientific argumentation to what extent ecosystem services in urban areas can contribute to decrease the climate change negative impact. It would be particularly useful in urban climate change adaptation plans. It would also be an argument supporting decision making processes for the authorities.
To what extent ecosystem services in urban areas can contribute to decrease the climate change negative impact?