Urban soils are situated inside urban areas. They co-evolved with the urban infrastructure under permanent anthropogenic influence. Urban soils are of growing scientific and practical interest as the urbanisation of the world accelerates.
Urban soils differ from non-urban soils in the origin of parent materials which are often technogenic substrates, in the dynamic of pedogenetic processes, which are dominated by anthropogenic disturbances, and the balance between input and output of constituents, water and nutrients. Urban soils have specific physical and biogeochemical properties and they fulfil different soil functions compared to soils of natural or agricultural or forest ecosystems. This should lead to an adapted management and to a new classification system. (Because of their similar anthropogenic character, soils of industrialized, trafficked, mining and military areas are also addressed in this session.)
Urban Soils provide ecosystem services in watersheds that provide drinking water, in areas which are used for food production, industrial production, waste treatment, cultural life and recreation. In urban open spaces, soils offer specific urban habitats for vegetation and fauna leading to a comparable high biodiversity inside human settlements. In addition, these open spaces and every urban soil play an important role for the health of the urban system.
The management of urban soils, their use, their conservation and their remediation demand for systematic scientific investigation of urban soils, their functions and development. It is the goal of that multidisciplinary session to contribute to a better understanding of urban soils and urban ecosystems.
We invite contributions on the chemistry and physical properties of urban soils and technogenic substrates, on the genesis of urban soils, on new mapping approaches, on specific contaminations and specific methodology developed or adapted for the investigation on urban soils. Further, we explicitly invite presentations on the various interactions between urban geochemistry, the urban water cycle and urban atmosphere all affecting the urban soils.