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Over half of the world’s population now live in cities. In 2011 it was estimated that the global population exceeded 7 billion. Pressures on the environment including land use are increasing. The ground beneath cities and the interaction between physical, biological and chemical processes provides natural capital on which society depends. These benefits and the ground properties and processes that support and deliver them can be considered ecosystem services. Characterizing the ground properties on which ecosystem services depend involves a qualitative assessment of positive and negative impacts of proposed urban sustainability solutions, including use of the ground. The sustainability...

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