Urban self-sufficiency through optimised ecosystem service demand. A utopian perspective from European cities
Journal article, 2015

Most cities are not self-sufficient in terms of supply and demand of urban ecosystem services (UES) which creates important social, economic and environmental problems at different scales. Cities have enormous potential to reduce pressures on the environment while enhancing wellbeing for their inhabitants by acting both on the UES supply and demand sides. In this study we focus on the demand side by exploring the feasibility of self-sufficient cities under an environmentally radical, utopian scenario that implies the optimisation of UES demand by individuals, i.e. the minimum possible consumption of provisioning UES, a reduced need for regulating LIES and the adequate fulfilment of cultural UES demand for a reasonable human wellbeing. Definitions of optimal demand are provided for a set of essential UES by 2050: food supply, freshwater supply, urban cooling, air purification, carbon sequestration, flood prevention, physical recreation and mental recreation. Operational LIES demand indicators are identified for these UES. Based on these, we show the current average ecosystem service demand values in European cities, the current most exigent demand values and propose optimised future demand values. These utopian values intend to serve as benchmarks towards optimised LIES demand that will make cities more self-sufficient. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Ecosystem service

Demand

Europe

Utopian scenario

Self-sufficiency

City

Author

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Chalmers, Architecture

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Chalmers, Architecture

[Person df39a547-3c2b-4393-833c-525eab5cc69d not found]

Humboldt University of Berlin

[Person e234c251-d253-433e-a364-21885efedd64 not found]

Institut de Ciencia i Tecnologia Ambientals (ICTA)-UAB

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Chalmers, Architecture

Futures

0016-3287 (ISSN)

Vol. 70 13-23

Subject Categories

Economics and Business

Environmental Sciences

DOI

10.1016/j.futures.2015.03.007

More information

Latest update

3/29/2018