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Soil conservation at stake

While cities are a boon of civilisation, they are not typically built with soil conservation in mind. Rather soils are seen as waste byproducts of construction, excavated, compacted and landfilled, resulting in the loss of nutrient -rich soil and carbon to the atmosphere. New city designs need to factor in green spaces where soil can flourish.

Main threats

Pavement & buildings

Urban development often involves paving over natural areas, including soil. This can lead to compaction, erosion, and loss of soil structure, making it difficult for plants to grow.


Urban areas are often sources of pollution, including air and water pollution, which can contaminate soil and make it toxic for plants and animals.

Loss of biodiversity

Urbanisation can lead to the loss of native plant and animal species, which can disrupt the natural processes that help to maintain soil health.

Nutrient imbalances

Urban areas can also disrupt the natural balance of nutrients in soil, leading to excesses or deficiencies that can inhibit plant growth.

Heat island effect

Cities can be several degrees warmer than surrounding rural areas, which can affect the soil microorganisms and the plants that grow in the soil.

Key solutions

green roofs buildings cities

Green roofs

Installing vegetation on top of buildings, which can help to reduce heat island effect, improve air quality, and promote biodiversity.
Capturing and storing rainwater Irrigation

Rainwater harvesting

Capturing and storing rainwater for use in irrigation, which can help to reduce the amount of water that is lost to runoff and improve soil moisture levels.
green spaces cities parks

Green infrastructure

Creating and preserving green spaces within the city, such as parks, gardens, and wetlands. 
Composting Organic Soil


Recycling organic waste material by breaking it down into nutrient-rich compost.
soil health education children citizens

Education and awareness

Raising awareness about the importance of soil health and encouraging residents to take actions that promote it.
food production garden urban farming

Urban agriculture

Incorporating food production in the city through community gardens, urban farms, and rooftop gardens.
Sustainable development soil health

Sustainable development

Designing and constructing buildings, roads and other infrastructure in ways that minimise their impact on soil health.