Relationship between City-Dwellers and soils: How to use urban and Peri-urban soils to face the urban challenge?
1-10-2013 – 30-09-2016

Soil Contamination
Agriculture and forest soils

Parties involved:

What is the question addressed? The question is to identify how better use the urband and outer-urban soils to face the urban challenge.

What is the problem? There is strong growth in the use of soils for urban gardening in cases of economic crisis. This was the case in Brazil, Cuba, the United States and Russia, and now in the European Union. Urban and peri-urban soils may be used to confront three dimensions of the urban challenge: poverty, violence and major ecological risks, among which the expected influx of climatic refugees. And with good practices, gardening improves soil quality. This potential has not yet yielded large-scale policies in the EU or its Member States. The reason is that urban and peri-urban gardening is a blind spot not acknowledged as a sector of activity and unknown in statistical nomenclatures.

Who holds the problem? The problem depends first of all on gardening organisations, which are inventing new models of agrobiological practices for working soils in experiments with community, insertion and educational gardens, and in the new generation of allotment gardens today. It depends on educational systems, in particular at the primary education level. It presupposes an enlightened and voluntary policy on behalf of decision-makers at the city, state and EU levels.

Research coordinator URBAN SOIL: Louiza Boukharaeva, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Éco-anthropologie et Ethnobiologie (UMR 7206) ” lab of the CNRS , France

 Project Deliverables


Boukharaeva, L. and Marloie, M. (2015). Urban agriculture – Family urban agriculture in Russia. Springer Editions (pp. 215)          Presentation Flyer (in French)