City soil is bottom of the year

Baths in cities are particularly important for the water balance and the climate

Nymphenburg Palace, Munich © public domain
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The bottom of 2010 is the city floor. This decision was announced by the Trustees of the Year in Berlin. The city floor is the sixth floor of the year after Kalkmarsch, Schwarzerde, Fahlerde, Podsol and Braunerde.

According to the jury, the term city floors is used to summarize the various soils of urban-industrial spaces. The election aims to direct people's awareness of the soil directly under our feet. Cities in cities are particularly important despite the sometimes higher pressures on the water balance and climate.

Intact soils are important

On the occasion of the World Soil Day on 5 December 2009, the Federal Environmental Agency (UBA) also pointed to the importance of intact soils: "In comparison to the media water and air, the soil is often trampled underfoot. However, humans do not just live on but on intact and healthy soils. Fertile soils are sources of raw materials and food, storage for nutrients, water or greenhouse gases and living space at the same time. Contaminated sites, the expansion of settlements and internationally the spread of deserts are increasingly jeopardizing the role of soils. Efficient soil protection is a dictate of reason, "said UBA President Jochen Flasbarth.

Although the importance of our soils in the last ten years has been brought to the attention of the public through a variety of actions by the federal and state governments, much effort is still needed.

Challenges of soil protection

On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of German soil protection legislation, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and the UBA invited representatives of the local umbrella organizations and soil associations to Berlin on 3 December 2009. Experts from politics, science and practice discussed successes, problems and new national and international challenges of soil protection. display

The assembled experts agreed that the urgency of effective soil protection also results from the fact that soils do not multiply and can only be renewed to a very limited extent. Occurring damages are often not repairable or only with substantial expenditure. "Especially in view of the possible climate changes fast action is necessary. While desertification is increasing globally as a result of climate change, agriculture in certain regions of Germany can also benefit from climate change. Less soil will have to feed more people. That's another reason why we need to protect our fertile soils, "says Flasbarth.

Reduce land consumption

The Soil Protection Commission at the Federal Environment Agency (KBU) also recommended that the federal and state governments curb land use. In a paper vermFlowing land use act now the scientists suggest one Trading in area quotas. As with emissions trading, ceilings should be introduced for new use and the possibility of buying and selling unused areas.

Nowadays, we use 104 hectares per day far away from the goal of the Federal Government to reduce this to 30 hectares by 2020. We could make it with our concept, says Professor Franz Makeschin, chairman of the KBU.

(Federal Environmental Agency, 07.12.2009 - DLO)