"Restoring to fertility land covered with concrete is an enormous task, but not an impossible one. So, Lorenza Zambon, actress and gardener, tells the story of a couple in Turin, Italy, who decided to give to their children a patch of fertile land as a gift. It was a lot of work; concrete had to be cut and broken to pieces and the rubble carried away. Then, restoring the fertility of the soil took truckloads of dirt, charcoal, and more. Zambon doesn't tell us how long the task took nor how much it cost, but surely it was slow, messy and expensive. It was also a subversive idea: in the generally accepted view, paving the land means "developing" it, and that means making money. So, destroying property to restore the fertile soil is something that nobody in his/her right mind would - normally - do."writes Ugo Bardi on his blog post about the increasing encroachment on agriculture land by roads, houses etc. It is very hard to get accurate data for exactly how much land is paved over or "built" in the world. Data from Denmark looks like this.
|Danish land use (ministry of environment 2004)|
In Garden Earth I write:
We need to do something with the ongoing encroachment of agriculture land by built infrastructure. It is scandalous that soils are not protected by any international conventions. As far as I understand it is not even on the agenda in the upcoming Rio + 20 meeting.
Time for a soil convention!
Update 19 April:
Apparently the EU Commission released some guidelines about "soil sealing"
and there is an upcoming conference about it: