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Berlin Environmental Atlas

01.13 Planning Notes for Soil Protection (Edition 2015)

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Maximum protection level

This category is based on high assessments for the "habitat function for rare and near-natural plant communities" and/or for the "archive function for natural history."

This category shows the highest protection status, and covers only approx. 5 % of the area evaluated. With respect to possible planning, there are special requirements to consider alternative sites and avoid interventions, since the habitat function for rare and near-natural plant species is virtually unrecoverable, and the archive function for natural history is definitely unrecoverable (Smettan & Litz 2006). Therefore, projects or plans for which interventions in soils with maximum protection level cannot be avoided should only be authorized in consultation with the soil protection authority.

Very high protection level


The category "Very high protection level" may be based on any of several assessment factors:
  1. The "habitat function for rare and near-natural plant communities" and likewise the "archive function for natural history" was assessed as medium, or
  2. the "yield function for crops" was assessed as high on land used agriculturally (farmland, pasture or tree nursery / horticulture), or
  3. the "regulation function for the water balance" and likewise the "buffering and filtration function" were assessed as high.

The majority of the sections in this protection category have been assigned to it due to their habitat and archive functions, a somewhat smaller number due to their regulatory or buffering and filtration functions, and only a few sections because of their yield function for crops.

The area category "Very high protection level" means that for reasons of soil protection planned interventions should be avoided as a matter of priority, or suitable alternative sites should be sought in keeping with other requirements. Moreover, no net loss of pervious soil and of functions should be permitted.


High protection level

The category "High protection level" is based on a high assessment for the "regulation function for the water balance" or for the "buffering and filtration function."

The lower protection status compared with "Very high protection level" is due to the considerably lower number of soil functions involved. It is sufficient that only one criterion (either the regulation function for the water balance or the buffering and filtration function) be assessed as high. Despite the lower protection level, here too an effort should be made to avoid as far as possible or compensate for a net loss of land and functions, in consultation with the soil protection authority.

Medium protection level

The category "Medium protection level" is based on a medium-level assessments for the "regulation function for the water balance" and simultaneously for the "buffering and filtration function."

Where applicable, the affected functions can also be improved in this specific form by technical measures, such as retention of precipitation or use of soil coverage pervious to water and air. Thus, here the focus is on avoiding a net loss of functions and keeping the net loss of land as low as possible with the participation of the soil protection authority.

Low protection level (soils with no special requirements)

The remaining soils (26,453 ha) are assigned to the category "Low protection level."

Here the general legal soil protection requirements (Federal Soil Protection Law 1998, Federal Soil Protection and Residual Waste Ordinance 1999, Berlin Soil Protection Law 2004, Building Code 2004) apply.


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