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Open AccessConcept Paper

Connecting Existing Cemeteries Saving Good Soils (for Livings)

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Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Forestali (SAAF), Università degli Studi di Palermo Viale delle Scienze 13, 90128 Palermo, Italy
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Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Agrarie, Alimentari Ambientali e Forestali (DAGRI), Università degli Studi di Firenze, Piazzale Cascine 28, 50144 Firenze, Italy
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12010093
Received: 13 November 2019 / Revised: 12 December 2019 / Accepted: 19 December 2019 / Published: 21 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Sustainability and Applications)
Background: Urban sprawl consumes and degrades productive soils worldwide. Fast and safe decomposition of corpses requires high-quality functional soils, and land use which competes with both agriculture and buildings. On one hand, cremation does not require much land, but it has a high energy footprint, produces atmospheric pollution, and is unacceptable to some religious communities. On the other hand, as exhumations are not practiced, “green burials” require more surface area than current burial practices, so a new paradigm for managing land use is required. Conclusions: In this paper, we propose a concept for ‘green belt communalities’ (i.e., ecological corridors with multiple, yet flexible, uses and services for future generations). With the expansion of urban centers, ecological corridors gradually disappear. Cemeteries for burial plots preclude alternative uses of the land for a long time. By combining these two aspects (need for connectivity and land take imposed by cemeteries), two positive results can be achieved: protecting memories of the past and connecting ecosystems with multiple-use corridors. This new paradigm works best in flat or hilly terrain where there are already several urban agglomerations that contain traditional cemeteries. Stakeholders who might consider this concept are local administrators, planners, and the communities of individuals who share specific beliefs on burial systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban ecology; urban areas; urban environments; disposal practice; religion urban ecology; urban areas; urban environments; disposal practice; religion
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MDPI and ACS Style

Scalenghe, R.; Pantani, O.-L. Connecting Existing Cemeteries Saving Good Soils (for Livings). Sustainability 2020, 12, 93.

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