DOI: 10.5593/SGEM2015/B32/S13.051


A. Bielska, A. Turek
Thursday 24 September 2015 by Libadmin2015

References: 15th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference SGEM 2015, www.sgem.org, SGEM2015 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7105-37-7 / ISSN 1314-2704, June 18-24, 2015, Book3 Vol. 2, 379-386 pp

Soil constitutes a non-renewable natural resource, the surface of which is constantly shrinking, particularly due to the uncontrolled development of cities, towns and transport infrastructure. Soil sealing, i.e. coating of the ground with impermeable materials, constitutes one of the primary causes of soil degradation. This process results in irreversible loss of soil biological functions, in particular disappearance of food production potential and increased water flow. It threatens biodiversity and adversely affects the landscape. Combating soil sealing is becoming a serious issue, which is of interest to the European Commission.
This paper deals with soil sealing problem in Poland based on the example of a selected commune located near Warsaw, in Warsaw Metropolitan Area, which is particularly exposed to city sprawl. The research was performed with the use of data on soil quality and an ortophotomap for the selected areas. On the basis of soil conditions analysis the areas of limited use where indicated, which should not be designated for development. Subsequently, intensity of development sprawl in the investigated areas was determined pursuant to the ortophotomap. Actual efficiency of the Act on the Protection of Arable Lands and Forests was also analysed, as well as the consequences of the legal provisions adopted in 2009, which facilitate development of arable lands located within the administrative boundaries of cities and towns.
The possible measures for combating soil sealing in the investigated areas were determined on the basis of the research, as well as the possibility of implementing the recommendations of the European Commission in this respect. The importance and the necessity of the integrated, rational and skilful spatial planning in the areas of significant biological values, including, without limitation, lands of high quality and agricultural suitability, was emphasized. Planning documents for the selected area were analysed and development prospects for the investigated terrains were determined.

Keywords: soil sealing, urban sprawl, Warsaw Metropolitan Area, soil protection

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