The urban ecosystem and its ecosystem services (ESs) are managed for the wellbeing of urbandwellers. Thus, sustainable urban development depends on ESs aside economic, cultural and politicaldimensions. Soils play a central role in the urban ecosystem as they fulfill various functions andprovide several ESs. In urban areas, they are usually built to perform specific functions and providespecific ESs, e.g., (i) supporting buildings, roads and infrastructure; (ii) waste adsorption; (iii)supporting biomass production for green infrastructure and urban agriculture; (iv) filter, buffer andtransformation of contaminants; (v) regulating air and water quality; (vi) supporting nutrient cycling.In urban areas, some soils may be strongly modified by human activities, which changes theircomposition and functions, and, therefore, their ability to provide ESs. Urban soils and, moregenerally, SUITMAs (soils in urban, industrial, traffic, mining and military areas) may fulfill individuallya smaller number of ESs, smaller than those of natural soils outside of urban areas. Secondary andincidental ESs, if not disservices, may also be performed by SUITMAs.In this paper, we attempt to rank SUITMAs, according to the ESs they provide. Focus is made onthe nature of services, their importance and the number of services provided by each soil type. Workis also assigned to assess the extent to which urban soils can be deliberately altered to enhance ESs.After the tentative classification of soils, two examples will be given, i) sealed soil deemed tocomplete only few functions and provide specific services, and ii) soils of green-roofs designed toprovide a wide range of ESs, including particularly the control of the quality of air and water, thetemperature control, and the moderation of biodiversity loss.In conclusion, focus is to turn the attention towards the recognition of SUITMAs and theirmanagement as basis for the sustainable development of the urban ecosystem.
Morel, J. L., Lorenz, K., & Chenu, C. (2013). Ecosystem Services provided by SUITMAs. In Soils of Urban, Industrial, Traffic, Mining and Military Areas. SUITMA 7. Abstracts (pp. 8-8).