Urbanization disrupts natural ecosystems and may lead to degradation of land, water and biodiversity. These effects may jeopardise a sustainable development of urban areas and enhance environmental impacts, such as soil and water contamination, erosion, soil concealing, enhancing natural hazards, decreasing the ecosystem service functions, and threatening human security in areas of high human pressure. Although such impacts have been investigated worldwide for a long period, growing urban areas in recent years present a major research challenge as urban areas expand and sustainable development has become a major focus for city planners.
This session aims to give an overview of the current research in urban areas, and state of knowledge on soil properties, hydrological processes at different scales, soil-water-vegetation relations, pollutant fade and transport, and impacts on natural hazards. We welcome contributions and studies with focus on sustainable urbanization in order to mitigate degradation of land and water, reduce soil and water pollution and mitigate the impact of future extreme events and hazards. The session seeks for presentations of nature based solutions and their integration with other engineering solutions to mitigate urban hazards. The involvement of stakeholders to improve urban planning and risk management should be also considered to provide environmental, social and economic benefits for urban dwellers.
A special issue in the Journal Science of the Total Environment (Impact Factor 4.9) will be organized with contributions from this session.
This session is supported by the (1) European Social Fund according to the activity ‘Improvement of researchers’ qualification by implementing world-class R&D projects’ of Measure No. 09.3.3-LMT-K-712. Project: Lithuanian National Ecosystem Services Assessment and Mapping (LINESAM) founded by the Lithuanian Research Council; and (2) European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, through project URBANGAIA – Managing urban Biodiversity and Green Infrastructure to increase city resilience (No 645782).