The recognition of soils and their functions by the public and, in particular, the planning community isgenerally poor. However, conversion of soils to urban uses is occurring at an unprecedented rate dueto an increasing share of the population living in urban areas and changing lifestyles. Urban planners,developers and planning agencies allocate urban lands to varying uses but land use decisions aregenerally not based on soil information as urban growth is managed predominantly for economicdevelopment. However, urban areas must also deal with challenges such as demographic change,urban densification, climate change and infrastructure provision. Thus, managing urban sustainabilityhas to include ecological aside economic, cultural, and political dimensions. Urban developmentneeds to be managed to minimize negative impacts and maximize environmental quality. Policydecisions towards maximizing short-term economic benefits must be balanced by decisions towardssustainable use and management of urban soils as urban land use has long-term consequences. Therecognition of soils by the planning community can particularly be improved by highlighting the valueof urban soil functions for the well-being of urban dwellers. This approach was recommended at thedialogue session ’Urbanization: Challenges to Soil Management‘ during the first Global Soil Week2012 in Berlin, Germany. Further suggestions how to raise the awareness about urban soils and howto deal with challenges regarding their management will be presented.
Lorenz, K. (2013). The Urban Land Grab - Challenges to Soil Management. In Soils of Urban, Industrial, Traffic, Mining and Military Areas. SUITMA 7. Abstracts (pp. 29-29).