Credit: 3 PDH
Course Fee: $36.00
Many urban areas are experiencing a significant increase in the number of vacant properties and a corresponding underutilization of substantial tracts of land. As part of efforts to revitalize these areas, communities are looking at green reuses of vacant properties, including parks, green infrastructure, and urban agriculture. The poor condition of the soils on these properties, however, can often be a significant impediment to green infrastructure and urban agriculture uses. The soils are often severely compacted, lack sufficient organic matter, and can contain large amounts of construction debris, making them unsuitable as a growing medium.
This report provides a concise, practical, and scientifically-based overview of the typical conditions of urban soils, and offers recommendations for how such soils can be rehabilitated or reconditioned to support green infrastructure or urban agriculture. Reconditioning methods for improving poor quality soils will vary depending on soil conditions and the intended use of the site. In general, the objective is to restore disturbed urban soils to a condition more consistent with the functions and services of native soils. Sites intended for urban agriculture might need considerable reconditioning to achieve the characteristics needed to grow certain crops, whereas areas intended for recreation (e.g., parks, playgrounds, hiking trails) might need only moderate improvement to allow for vegetation.
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Course Author: EPA