Urban soil studies

More than half of the world's population is living in urbanized areas. Urban soils play a critical role as provisioner of various ecosystem services.

Yet, relatively little is known about their variability and quality.

Our research aims to understand and predict the spatial heterogeneity in urban soil properties from available spatial datasets in a case study for Ghent, Belgium.

Spatial patterns in urban soil properties and processes are being analysed and the potential of these datasets to map urban soil quality is evaluated.

Where needed, the legacy soil data are extended using targeted sampling and bio-physico-chemical characterization of the urban soils.

The ultimate goal is to develop a practical tool for local policy makers and urban planners to evaluate and monitor urban soil quality and ecosystem services.

An improved understanding of the role of soils in the urban environment, the spatial patterns of their chemical, biological and physical soil properties and the impacts of urbanization is essential to the sustainable management of the urban soil resource.

Contact

Prof. Ann Verdoodt