ArchiSols aims to improve land use through soil knowledge. Soil pollution in urban areas is indeed much more widespread than the tools available to citizens and field actors suggest. During a land use change, soil assessment often comes only after all decisions have already been planned. This leads to a series of disappointments and fears, risks, and costs for the stakeholders. In Brussels, polluted soils are mostly excavated and relocated; the subsequent possibilities of practicing full-soil gardening/farming are nullified. However, "urban agriculture" has been encouraged by public authorities for several years (Good Food). Similarly, better use of industrial wastelands can limit the phenomenon of soil sealing, and a better understanding of the history of spaces can contribute to the greening of cities, thereby combating climate change.

The approach proposed by ArchiSols for soil identification relies on a much closer dialogue between the unused knowledge present in the archives of various institutions. In this regard, this research aims to tackle the widespread neglect of any information that is not "born-digital" (content produced in digital form from the beginning) but is crucial to enhance city management, reflection, and planning. Paradoxically, huge stocks of "paper" information are forgotten, while it is evident that taking history into account allows Brussels to develop more intelligently. ArchiSols seeks to use the mass of available but unexploited data on soil to find other ways of "living" with the existing soil by answering the following question:

To address the challenge of urban transformation, is it possible to define which parts of the urban soil in Brussels would be most suitable for agricultural, gardening, or greening by organizing a broad and exhaustive collection of information from all sources (private, public, written, drawn, oral...) regarding the precise location of past polluting activities and the current state of soil degradation using innovative methods of crowdsourcing and digital mapping?

ArchiSols is funded by Innoviris. The research is conducted in collaboration with : Archives de l'État en Belgique ; ; LoUIsE - Laboratory on Landscape, Urbanism, Infrastructures and Ecologies, Université Libre de Bruxelles with the participation, among others, of : Commune d'Uccle ; Commune de Woluwe-Saint-Lambert ; Commune d'Anderlecht ; Institut d’histoire ouvrière, économique et sociale (IHOES)