Towards embedding soil ecosystem services in spatial planning

Delibas M., Tezer A., Bacchin T. K.

CITIES, vol.113, 2021 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 113
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.cities.2021.103150
  • Journal Name: CITIES
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Periodicals Index Online, Avery, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, Environment Index, Index Islamicus, PAIS International, Political Science Complete, Public Affairs Index, Social services abstracts, Sociological abstracts, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This paper aims to contribute to the limited understanding and recognition of soil ecosystem services (SoES) in spatial planning. In light of its critical role in climate crises and due to its global degradation, soil has drawn considerable attention in the recent global agenda. As one of its vital services, soil serves as a terrestrial carbon pool, which significantly contributes to offset greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere (EEA, 2012). The capacity of soil in climate change mitigation and in the provision of ecosystem services can be enhanced and safeguarded by integrated spatial planning strategies. However, due to limited political attention and fragmented frameworks on land and soil management, anthropogenic pressures on soil are reaching critical limits and causing soil degradation. In this context, the paper underlines the interconnectedness of SoES, climate change and spatial planning and discusses their multifaceted interactions through a hypothetical framework based on the Nexus approach. Herein, the paper aims to (i) develop an outline for classification of SoES; (ii) analyze background dynamics of soil degradation interacting with climate change; (iii) discuss recent policy frameworks referring to soil protection and SoES; (iv) propose measures for possible integration of SoES into spatial planning through SoES-Climate Change-Spatial Planning Nexus.