| Project objectives:
The overall aim of this project is to identify soil quality parameters and their use in urban areas to provide local, national and European authorities with
decision support tools for the correct planning and sustainable management of the soil resource in the cities and towns of Europe.
Specific or intermediate objectives are:
To compile a comprehensive database of the main components of the urban ecosystem that influence (directly or indirectly) soil quality in the urban ecosystem
To test, validate and implement a set of cross-checked analytical procedures for the evaluation of soil quality parameters that are required for future
political regulations to preserve or improve the quality of urban soils in European cities.
To develop a transferable methodology for the determination and assessment of quality parameters of the soil resource in urban areas.
To build and apply GIS decision-support tool for the evaluation of soil quality in urban environments.
To help develop and harmonise new urban environmental management techniques.
To raise the awareness of local governments and other end-users (authorities, interest groups, general public) to appreciate the role of the soil resource
in sustainable land use planning and natural, unrenewable, resource management by involving them in all stages of the work.
To produce sensitivity analysis of the planning process to soil quality/vulnerability under a range of typical urban scenarios and to educate local authorities
in the newly developed methodology for soil quality assessment and decision support systems.
To train personnel (young researchers) on validated methods.
The ecological role of soil in natural environments is well known. It is a fundamental element of the global ecosystem, having the crucial roles of supplier
of nutrients and mechanical support to plants and of buffer for various components, including pollutants of various origin. Its influence thus extends to
the neighbouring ecosystems, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere.
Much less is known about the properties and functions of anthropogenic affected soils in urban areas. Within city environments the soil functions include
serious effects on human health (by ingestion of soil and inhalation of suspended particles), biodiversity (as a central component of urban natural niches),
and landscaping (green areas). Its ecological and social value is therefore greatly increased compared to agricultural and forestry systems but its contribution
to the quality of life of the citizens is often overlooked.
The aim is to identify soil quality parameters and their use in urban areas to provide local, national and European authorities with decision support tools
for sustainable planning and management of the soil resource in European cities. A comprehensive database of environmental and socio-economical data will
be compiled, and general soil description parameters will be determined, as well as specific data for various inorganic and organic pollutants. A Decision-Support
Tool for evaluation of soil quality will be developed, validated, and offered to local administrations for the correct planning and sustainable management
of the soil resource.