Integrating Ecosystem Services in urban planning

Cortinovis, Chiara (2018) Integrating Ecosystem Services in urban planning. PhD thesis, University of Trento.

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While ecosystem service knowledge has demonstrated to enhance decision-making at different levels, successfully managing the interface between science and policies is still a challenge. The thesis focuses on cities, and aims to explore the integration of ecosystem services in urban planning processes and tools. A preliminary review of recent urban plans reveals shortcomings in current practices and the potential benefits of a further integration. At the conceptual level, the problem of integration is addressed by building a framework that shows the entry points and pathways through which planning actions affect the supply and demand of urban ecosystem services. The framework is applied to systematise a fragmented scientific evidence, and to select a set of indicators that planners can use to assess the impacts of planning decisions. At the operational level, the integration of ecosystem service knowledge is tested in a real-life planning context dealing with the prioritization of brownfield regeneration scenarios in the city of Trento (Italy). Alternative scenarios are assessed based on the beneficiaries of two key ecosystem services, namely microclimate regulation and nature-based recreation, hence compared through a multi-criteria analysis that allows exploring multiple perspectives and balancing competing interests. The last part of the thesis frames the integration of ecosystem services in urban planning in the wider context of spatial strategies for sustainable urban development. The six main spatial strategies agreed-upon at the European level, including the 'green city' strategy supported by the ecosystem service approach, are compared with the recent development trends of 175 European cities. The results reveal factors that may hinder the implementation of the strategies, as well as potential conflicts and trade-offs that should be carefully considered when aiming at a truly-sustainable urban development.

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis (PhD)
Doctoral School:Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering
PhD Cycle:30
Subjects:Area 08 - Ingegneria civile e Architettura > ICAR/20 TECNICA E PIANIFICAZIONE URBANISTICA
Area 08 - Ingegneria civile e Architettura > ICAR/21 URBANISTICA
Repository Staff approval on:16 Apr 2018 10:25

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