• Helmut Meuser
Part of the Environmental Pollution book series (EPOL, volume 18)


Many problems associated with contaminated urban soils are linked to the process of urbanization. The ongoing rural-to-urban migration of the population is causing a rapid expansion of cities, in particular in the developing countries. The result of this development is an uncontrolled urban sprawl and a number of additional problems such as inadequate waste disposal or drinking water supply. In developed countries shrinking cities on the one hand and booming regions on the other hand are causing increasingly tendencies, burdening the soil in different ways. The real reasons for most tendencies mentioned are social and economic ones and require political solutions. The impacts resulting from urban expansion, particularly the immense loss of agricultural land and the increasing conflicts with wildlife conservation, are related without doubt to the environmental compartment soil. Besides the question of sufficient land for food production which people are probably going to ask in future, the transformation of cropland and pasture into built-up areas irreversibly damages the soil. The destruction of former untouched areas, including wildlife habitats, also damages and interrupts natural soil functions. And ultimately, unplanned land use for landfill or mining heap purposes, for example, means a detrimental impact on the physical and chemical soil conditions. Accordingly, the process of land consumption and urbanization will involve both urban and rural land. Taking the agglomeration areas into account, this problem should not be reduced to the rural areas directly surrounding the cities. In other words, the urban soil business soil scientists are dealing with might occupy the thinking of soil scientists to a greater extent in the near future.


Soil Contamination Urban Soil Town Planning Anthropogenic Soil Land Consumption 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Applied Sciences OsnabrückOsnabrückGermany

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