Understanding Soils in Urban Environments

Paperback - January 2011 - AU $59.95

eBook - January 2011 - eRetailers

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Details the physical, chemical and engineering properties of soils and how they can be managed.

Soil properties such as water retention, salinity and acidity are not just issues for agriculture and forestry. They are equally as significant in creating environmental and structural problems for buildings and other engineering works. As an increasing proportion of the world's population is living in cities, and building and related infrastructure development continues, these problems assume ever-greater importance. In addition, existing works contribute to urban soil erosion and pollution as well as increased levels of urban runoff. + Full description

Understanding Soils in Urban Environments explains how urban soils develop, change and erode. It describes their physical and chemical properties and focuses on specific soil problems, such as acid sulfate soils, that can cause environmental concern and also affect engineering works. It also addresses contemporary issues such as green roofs, urban green space and the man-made urban soils that plants may need to thrive in. It provides a concise introduction to all aspects of soils in urban environments and will be extremely useful to students in a wide range of disciplines, from soil science and urban forestry and horticulture, to planning, engineering, construction and land remediation, as well as to engineers, builders, landscape architects, ecologists, planners and developers.

- Short description


Paperback | January 2011 | $ 59.95
ISBN: 9780643091740 | 160 pages | 245 x 170 mm
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing

ePDF | January 2011
ISBN: 9780643101432
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers


  • Examines soils in an urban context
  • Pulls together the currently widely scattered information on urban soils into one source
  • Demonstrates the effects of soil properties on the environment, especially on water quality, air quality and biodiversity
  • Analyses the relationship of soil properties to problems such as contamination, flooding, infiltration and foundation failure


Chapter 1 Soils in an urban environment
Chapter 2 Soil characteristics important for urban soil management
Chapter 3 Soils and the hydrological cycle in urban environments
Colour plates
Chapter 4 Soils for engineering purposes
Chapter 5 Soil contamination in urban areas
Chapter 6 Urban soils and ecosystems
Chapter 7 Soils and vegetation: contributing to a more sustainable urban environment
Chapter 8 Urban development on coastal soils
Chapter 9 Interpretation of soil attributes in an urban environment
Appendix: some international soil classifications


Pam Hazelton is a practising soil scientist who has lectured in soils at universities, was a consultant to the Soil Conservation Service of NSW and a soil surveyor in the Department of Conservation and Land Management. She has also worked with private soil consultants. Currently she lectures in the Faculty of Engineering and IT at the University of Technology, Sydney, where she focuses her soil science expertise on environmental and engineering problems in urban soils, their capability and management.

Brian Murphy has worked as a practising soil scientist for more than 30 years. In that time, he has worked for a range of government organisations as well as with several private soil consultants. His range of experience includes work on urban soils; the management of soils for agriculture, especially in relation to tillage; soil sodicity; soil carbon and land capability. He has co-authored several books on soils and numerous refereed research papers and scientific reports on soil science.