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SOIL An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: review article 13 Dec 2019

Submitted as: review article | 13 Dec 2019

Review status
This preprint is currently under review for the journal SOIL.

Constructed Technosols are key to the sustainable development of urban green infrastructure

Maha Deeb1,6,9, Peter M. Groffman1,6, Manuel Blouin2, Sara Perl Egendorf1,3, Alan Vergnes4, Viacheslav Vasenev7,6, Donna L. Cao3, Daniel Walsh5, Tatiana Morin6, and Geoffroy Séré8 Maha Deeb et al.
  • 1Advanced Science Research Center at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, NY 10031, USA
  • 2Agroécologie, AgroSupDijon, INRA, University of Bourgogne Franche-Comté, Dijon 21078, France
  • 3Brooklyn College of The City University of New York, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Brooklyn, NY 11210, USA
  • 4Biologie -Ecologie -Environnement, Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, Montpellier 34090, France
  • 5Columbia University, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, NY 10964, USA
  • 6New York City Urban Soils Institute, 2900 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11210, USA
  • 7Landscape Design and Sustainable Ecosystems Department, RUDN University, Moscow117198, Russian Federation
  • 8Laboratoire Sols et Environnement, Université de Lorraine, INRA, UMR 1120, 54518 Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy, France
  • 9Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire des Environnements Continentaux, Université de Lorraine, UMR7360 CNRS, Metz, France

Abstract. With the rise in urban population comes a demand for solutions to offset environmental problems caused by urbanization. Green infrastructure (GI) refers to engineered features that provide multi-ecological functions in urban spaces. Soils are a fundamental component of GI, playing key roles in supporting plant growth, infiltration, and biological activities that contribute to maintenance of air and water quality. However, urban soils are often physically, chemically or biologically unsuitable for use in GI features. Constructed Technosols (CT), consisting of mixtures of organic and mineral waste, are man-made soils designed to meet specific requirements and have great potential for use in GI. This review covers (1) current methods to create CT adapted for various GI designs and (2) published examples where CT have been used in GI. We address the main steps for building CT, the materials and which formulae that should be used to design functional CT, and the technical constraints to using CT for applications in parks, streetside trees, stormwater management, urban farming, and abandoned land. The analysis suggests that the composition and structure of CT should and can be adapted to available wastes and by-products and to future land use and environmental conditions. CT have a high potential to provide multiple soil functions in diverse situations and to contribute to greening efforts in cities (and beyond) across the world.

Maha Deeb et al.

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Maha Deeb et al.

Maha Deeb et al.


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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
The goal of this study was to discuss current methods to create soils adapted for various green infrastructure designs (GI). Investigating these new soils for several design categories of GI will provide technical information for management and design agencies. Moreover, these studies can serve as pioneer experiments to prevent recurring errors and thus providing improved plant growth practices. Results show that these constructed soils have a high potential to provide multiple soil functions.
The goal of this study was to discuss current methods to create soils adapted for various green...