Thematic synthesis TS3: A soil agenda for spatial planning

The thematic synthesis presents room for manoeuvre in which spatial development can contribute to quantitative and qualitative soil protection. It shows how soil as a natural resource can be considered in the context of sustainable spatial planning.

  • Background (completed research project)

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    Functional soils facilitate the provision of ecosystem services that are important for our wellbeing. Although soils are widely recognised as precious natural resources, they continue to be under pressure. Spatial planning is mainly interested in land use issues, without adequately considering soil resources in space (quality) and time (future generations). Land use decisions are made by various actors at regional and local level, but soil functions rarely form a part of their deliberations.

  • Aim

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    The aim is to pool knowledge of NRP 68 about different aspects of spatiall planning and to propose innovative approaches to sustainable soil use. In collaboration with practitioners, recommendations are being drawn up to ensure sustainable spatial development, taking into account the qualitative and quantitative dimensions of soil as a resource.

  • Relevance

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    To give future generations a range of options for soil use that meet their specific needs, it is essential to include soil considerations. This is why land use decisions must be made on the basis of soil quality. This thematic synthesis shows how these efforts can be coordinated, taking into account the deliberations of heterogeneous actors with varying demands on sustainable spatial planning.

  • Results

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    Especially in the Swiss Plateau, the soil is subject to heavy land use pressure, with the agricultural land particularly affected. The thematic synthesis presents concepts and strategies on how the resource soil and its functions and ecosystem services can be secured in the long term.