Globally, 30% of the world population lived in urban areas in 1950, 54% in 2016 and 66% projected by 2050. The most urbanized regions include North America, Latin America, and Europe.  Urban encroachment depletes soil carbon and the aboveground biomass carbon pools, enhancing the flux of carbon from soil and vegetation into the atmosphere. Thus, urbanization has exacerbated ecological and environmental problems.

Urban soils are composed of geological material that has been drastically disturbed by anthropogenic activities and compromised their role in the production of food, aesthetics of residential areas, and pollutant dynamics. Properties of urban soils are normally not favorable to plant growth—the soils are contaminated by heavy metals and are compacted and sealed. Therefore, the quality of urban soils must be restored to make use of this valuable resource for delivery of essential ecosystem services (e.g., food, water and air quality, carbon sequestration, temperature moderation, biodiversity).

Part of the Advances in Soil Sciences Series, Urban Soils explains properties of urban soils; assesses the effects of urbanization on the cycling of carbon, nitrogen, and water and the impacts of management of urban soils, soil restoration, urban agriculture, and food security; evaluates ecosystem services provisioned by urban soils, and describes synthetic and artificial soils.

chapter 1|14 pages

Urban Agriculture in the 21st Century

ByRattan Lal

chapter 2|46 pages

Urban Soil Mapping through the United States National Cooperative Soil Survey

ByLuis Hernandez, Maxine Levin, Joe Calus, John Galbraith, Edwin Muñiz, Kristine Ryan, Randy Riddle, Richard K. Shaw, Robert Dobos, Steve Peaslee, Susan Southard, Debbie Surabian, David Lindbo

chapter 3|32 pages

Changes in Soil Organic Carbon Stocks by Urbanization

ByV.I. Vasenev, J.J. Stoorvogel, A.V. Dolgikh, N.D. Ananyeva, K.V. Ivashchenko, R. Valentini

chapter 4|28 pages

Drivers of Urban Soil Carbon Dynamics

ByTara L.E. Trammell, Susan Day, Richard V. Pouyat, Carl Rosier, Bryant Scharenbroch, Ian Yesilonis

chapter 5|16 pages

Soil Carbon and Nitrogen Cycling and Ecosystem Service in Cities

ByWeixing Zhu, Beth A. Egitto, Ian D. Yesilonis, Richard V. Pouyat

chapter 6|18 pages

Urban Soil Carbon Storage

ByBryant Scharenbroch, Susan Day, Tara Trammell, Richard Pouyat

chapter 7|20 pages

Sealing Effects on Properties of Urban Soils

ByPrzemysław Charzyński, Piotr Hulisz, Anna Piotrowska-Długosz, Dariusz Kamiński, Andrzej Plak

chapter 8|24 pages

Contaminants in Urban Soils: Bioavailability and Transfer

ByDorothy S. Menefee, Ganga M. Hettiarachchi

chapter 7|16 pages

Optimizing the Hydrologic Properties of Urban Soils

ByMary G. Lusk, Gurpal S. Toor

chapter 10|14 pages

Making Soils from Urban Wastes

BySally Brown

chapter 11|32 pages

Properties of Soils Affected by Highways

ByMichele Bigger

chapter 12|14 pages

An Applied Hydropedological Perspective on the Rendering of Ecosystem Services from Urban Soils

ByWilliam D. Shuster, Stephen Dadio

chapter 13|20 pages

Biogeochemistry of Rooftop Farm Soils

ByYoshiki Harada, Thomas H. Whitlow, Nina L Bassuk, Jonathan Russell-Anelli

chapter 14|18 pages

Managing Urban Soils for Food Production

ByKlaus Lorenz

chapter 15|16 pages

Vertical Farming Using Hydroponics and Aeroponics

ByDickson Despommier

chapter 16|22 pages

Soils and Waste Management in Urban India

BySimi Mehta, Arjun Kumar, Rattan Lal

chapter 17|24 pages

Enhancing Awareness about the Importance of Urban Soils

ByChristina Siebe, Silke Cram, Lucy Mora Palomino

chapter 18|16 pages

Feeding Megacities by Urban Agriculture

ByRattan Lal