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Soil Quality and Peri-Urban Expansion of Cities: A Mediterranean Experience (Athens, Greece)

Author

Listed:
  • Samaneh Sadat Nickayin

    (Planning and Design Faculty, Agricultural University of Iceland, Hvanneyri, 311 Borgarbyggð, Iceland)

  • Francesca Perrone

    (Department of Planning, Design and Technology of Architecture, Sapienza University, Via Flaminia, 72-00196 Roma, Italy)

  • Barbara Ermini

    (Department of Economics and Social Science, Polytechnic University of Marche, Piazzale Martelli, 8, I-60121 Ancona, Italy)

  • Giovanni Quaranta

    (Department of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Economics, University of Basilicata, Viale dell’Ateneo Lucano, 10, I-85100 Potenza, Italy)

  • Rosanna Salvia

    (Department of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Economics, University of Basilicata, Viale dell’Ateneo Lucano, 10, I-85100 Potenza, Italy)

  • Filippo Gambella

    (Department of Agriculture, University of Sassari, Viale Italia, 39, I-07100 Sassari, Italy)

  • Gianluca Egidi

    (Department of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences (DAFNE), Tuscia University, Via San Camillo de Lellis, I-01100 Viterbo, Italy)

Abstract

Soil loss and peri-urban settlement expansion are key issues in urban sustainability, with multi-disciplinary implications that go beyond individual ecological and socioeconomic dimensions. Our study illustrates an assessment framework diachronically evaluating urbanization-driven soil quality loss in a Southern European metropolitan region (Athens, Greece). We tested the assumption that urban growth is a process consuming high-quality soils in a selective way analyzing two spatial layers, a map illustrating the diachronic expansion of settlements at five time points (1948, 1975, 1990, 2000, and 2018), and a geo-database reporting basic soil properties. The empirical results showed that the urban expansion in the Athens region took place by consuming higher- quality soil in fertile, mostly flat, districts. It entailed a persistent soil quality decrease over time. This trend globally accelerated in recent years, but in a heterogeneous way. Actually, newly built, more compact areas expanded on soils with lower erosion risk than in the past. Besides, low-density land take is likely to be observed in soils with moderate-high or very-high qualities. These evidences reflect the need for a comprehensive evaluation of complex processes of land take informing spatial planning for metropolitan sustainability.

Suggested Citation

  • Samaneh Sadat Nickayin & Francesca Perrone & Barbara Ermini & Giovanni Quaranta & Rosanna Salvia & Filippo Gambella & Gianluca Egidi, 2021. "Soil Quality and Peri-Urban Expansion of Cities: A Mediterranean Experience (Athens, Greece)," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(4), pages 1-12, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:13:y:2021:i:4:p:2042-:d:499151
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    References listed on IDEAS

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