Green Infrastructures and the Consideration of Their Soil-Related Ecosystem Services in Urban Areas – A Systematic Literature Review

Minixhofer P., Stangl R.

Although urban soils are strongly influenced by human activities, they provide a wide range of Ecosystem Services (ES) as long as they are not sealed off. This is a major sustainability issue as the loss of soil functions directly impacts ES and further on the possibility to adapt to the effects of the climate crisis. Green Infrastructure (GI) measures can be utilized to restore previously covered soil surfaces and compensate for lost soil functions. We conducted a systematic literature review to investigate the extent of peer-reviewed publications on GI measures in (peri-) urban areas covering soil-related ES. After identifying the relevant publications (n = 284), we generated an overview of the annual, spatial, and thematic distribution of the publications. Then, we employed an extended content analysis of the published focus topics to assess the representation of soil-related ES provided by GI. The content analysis revealed that the representation of soil-related ES in GI measures focused heavily on the contribution of soil to stormwater management. Detailed assessment of the interconnection of GI measures with key soil-related ES were missing. So far, the assessment of the loss of soil-related ES is not covered extensively in GI research publications.

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