Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Buried solutions

Electronic data

  • Evans_etal_2020_Buried Solutions_RevisedClean

    Rights statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Geoderma. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Geoderma, 387, 2021 DOI: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2020.114925

    Accepted author manuscript, 1.83 MB, PDF document

    Embargo ends: 22/01/22

    Available under license: CC BY-NC-ND

Links

Text available via DOI:

View graph of relations

Buried solutions: How Maya urban life substantiates soil connectivity

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Published
  • D.L. Evans
  • B.N. Vis
  • N.P. Dunning
  • E. Graham
  • C. Isendahl
Close
Article number114925
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/04/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Geoderma
Volume387
Number of pages17
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date22/01/21
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Soils are a pivot of sustainable development. Yet, urban planning decisions persist in compromising the usability of the urban soils resource. Urban land cover expansion to accommodate an increasing population results in soil sealing. Concealment of and physical obstructions to soils prevent urban populations from engaging with their soil dependency. The concept of soil connectivity recognises that nurturing mutually beneficial soil–society relations is an essential dimension for achieving soil security. The concentrated populations of urban environments acutely require productive soil–society relations and offer the greatest potential for enhancing soil connectivity. Soil connectivity remains notably under-researched, however, resulting in deficient evidence to substantiate exactly how soil connectivity can contribute to sustaining urban life. The entanglement of soil and urban development has been critical throughout history, but seldom recognised in soil security discourse. We review the manifestation of effective soil connectivity in Precolumbian lowland Maya tropical urbanism. Archaeological evidence reveals, first, that lowland Maya urban settlement patterns largely preserved the availability, proximity, and accessibility of soils in the subdivision and configuration of urban open space. Second, Maya urban life included practices that proactively contributed to the formation of soils by adding to the stock of soils and improving beneficial soil properties of the thin and often nutrient-poor soils resulting from the regionally dominant karstic lithology. Third, a range of Maya landscape modifications and engineering practices enabled the preservation and protection of soils within urban environments. We derive evidence-based insights on an urban tradition that endured for well over two millennia by incorporating intensive soil–society relationships to substantiate the concept of soil connectivity. Inspiring urban planning to stimulate soil connectivity through enhancing the engagement with soils in urban life would promote soil security.

Bibliographic note

This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Geoderma. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Geoderma, 387, 2021 DOI: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2020.114925