Analyzing ecosystem services and green urban infrastructures to support urban planning

Zardo, Linda (2017) Analyzing ecosystem services and green urban infrastructures to support urban planning. PhD thesis, University of Trento.

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Ecosystems contribute to human wellbeing though the provisioning of goods and services, also known as ecosystem services (ES). However not all ecosystems provide ES to the same extent and depending on physical characteristics of the ecosystems or their location within the city, ES flow differently. The consideration of ecosystems and ES in the planning practice can play an important role in coping with urban challenges, aside to their potential to ameliorate quality of life. Urban planning represents one of the tools administrations have to influence the distribution of ecosystems and ES in a city, and to determine the benefits they provide and, more specifically, to re-determine the number, the location and type of beneficiaries reached. Inclusion of the ES concept in the planning practice can lead to strategic the creation or restoration of Green Urban Infrastructures in a city to maximize the provisioning of a specific ES. Despite the awareness of advantages coming from the application of the ES concept in the planning, there is limited evidence about the application in the planning practice. Goal of this work of this work is to contribute to mainstream ES knowledge into practice. Towards the achievement of this goal, it is crucial to understand the extent to which the ES concept is currently included in urban planning, and to identify the type of information that can most effectively support decision-makers and planners in adopting ES knowledge, and specifically Ecosystem-based measures in their “everyday” urban planning. The work is organized in four specific objectives: i) to provide an overview of the current state of the art related to inclusion of Ecosystem-based measures in urban planning and discuss, and use it identify and discuss the main shortcoming and propose possible solutions. ii)0 to develop an approach to estimate the cooling capacity provided by Green Urban Infrastructures to support urban planning. iii) to test the application of ES assessments in two case studies. iv) to develop guidance to support equitable distribution of ES in cities. The ES concept represents a tool to understand the underlying links between ecosystems, benefits provided and human wellbeing: if effectively used and mainstreamed in the planning practice, can be one of the keys for more livable and equitable cities

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis (PhD)
Doctoral School:Environmental Engineering
PhD Cycle:28
Subjects:Area 08 - Ingegneria civile e Architettura > ICAR/21 URBANISTICA
Repository Staff approval on:17 May 2017 09:43

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