Using constructed soils for green infrastructure - Challenges and limitations

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 multiecological 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 the maintenance of air and water quality. However, urban soils are often physically, chemically, or biologically unsuitable for use in GI features. Constructed Technosols (CTs), 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 CTs adapted for various GI designs and (2) published examples in which CTs have been used in GI. We address the main steps for building CTs, the materials and which formulae should be used to design functional CTs, and the technical constraints of using CTs for applications in parks and square lawns, tree-lined streets, green buffer for storm water management, urban farming, and reclaimed derelict land. The analysis suggests that the composition and structure of CTs should and can be adapted to available wastes and by-products and to future land use and environmental conditions. CTs 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. © Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Deeb M.1, 6, 9 , M. Groffman P. , Blouin M.2 , Perl Egendorf S. , Vergnes A.4 , Vasenev V. 6, 7 , L. Cao D. , Walsh D.5 , Morin T. 6 , Séré G.8
Copernicus GmbH
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  • 1 Advanced Science Research Center, Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York, NY 10031, United States
  • 2 Agroécologie, AgroSup Dijon, Inra, University of Bourgogne Franche-Comté, Dijon, 21078, France
  • 3 Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Brooklyn College, City University of New York, Brooklyn, NY 11210, United States
  • 4 Department of Biology, Ecology and Environment, Université Paul-Valéry (Montpellier 3), Montpellier, 34090, France
  • 5 Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, NY 10964, United States
  • 6 New York City Urban Soils Institute, Brooklyn College, City University of New York, Brooklyn, NY 11210, United States
  • 7 Department of Landscape Design and Sustainable Ecosystems, Peoples' Friendship University of Russia (RUDN), Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation
  • 8 Laboratoire Sols et Environnement, Université de Lorraine, Inra, Umr 1120, Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy, 54518, France
  • 9 Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire des Environnements Continentaux, Université de Lorraine, Umr 7360 Cnrs, Metz, 57070, France
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