Soils in spatial planning

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Open Call Reference: HORIZON-MISS-2023-SOIL-01-06

Land is a limited resource and needs to be managed carefully to meet the various, conflicting societal demands on land and soil. This includes demands arising e.g. from urbanisation, food/biomass production and environmental protection. Inadequate practices in land management and in land use planning are main drivers of land degradation and result in the loss of important soil functions. Spatial planning has a considerable role in steering a more balanced and sustainable use of land and ensuring that net land take is reduced, in particular if applying the principles of a “land take hierarchy”

-Improve the knowledge on trade-offs required to keep ecosystem services provision with expansion of urban, peri-urban and rural areas
-Identify good planning practices that integrate soils and their ecosystem Services (SES) into the spatial planning
-Demonstrate the impact of these practices on actual land use in urban and rural areas including, land take, the re-use of land, restoration, de-sealing and the support to soil functions
-Provide opportunities for training of planners and exchange of experiences (e.g. events, information tools) between the various actors involved in planning and land use decisions at various levels. Allow for participatory planning processes
-Improve the tools as well as the data and information basis (including maps) available to spatial planners and decision-makers regarding soil functions and ecosystem services

-Increased recognition of the value of ecosystem services in land use decisions due to increased awareness of spatial planners on the importance of soil functions, ecosystem services and soil health overall
-Information on soils is more easily accessible to planners and decision-makers
-Land use efficiency is increased and land take and soil sealing are reduced due to a more effective reuse of land and the application of the principles of the “land take hierarchy”
-Municipalities and authorities have planning tools at hand to develop and implement strategies for no net land take by 2050
-Spatial plans promote the use of Nature-based solutions for the improvement of ecosystem services provision in currently sealed areas
-Approaches for rezoning, restoration and de-sealing are available for building land and infrastructure which is no longer in use or to be reused

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