What? Though the process of phytoremediation has been used to treat contaminants for centuries the term was only coined in the 1990’s. The process has been embraced by governments worldwide and the EPA uses it as a method to treat superfund site throughout the United States. Produced by youarethecity, an urban design practice run by Kaja Kühl in NYC, the guide is aimed at individuals and community groups wanting to remediate toxic soil on vacant lots in their neighborhood.
Why? Many cities experience vacancy while also lacking sufficient affordable housing or access to fresh food. The process of phytoremediation offers a less expensive alternative to soil replacement processes to prepare land for growing consumable produce. As natural resources around the world become increasingly contaminated by pollutants, it is increasingly important to identify accessible, low cost solutions to remediation that can be initiated and implemented at the local level.
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