Can spatial form support urban ecosystem services: Developing descriptions and measures to capture the spatial demands for pollination using the framework of space syntax
Journal article, 2014
For sustainable urban development the idea of ecosystem services (ESS) is crucial, since it pinpoints how cities are dependent on local ecosystems and the wide range of services they provide for their welfare and survival. Pollination is an essential ESS for the majority of food production in the world and therefore also represents a tremendous monetary value that is provided by ecosystems for free. That wild pollinators are facing increasing threats due to urbanization and habitat fragmentation is therefore a distressing development. At the same time, it is also pointed out how cities have a great potential to sustain pollinator populations if properly designed and managed. However, the role of spatial form in supporting ecosystems services has so far not been studied. This is unfortunate, since it is at this scale that urban designers need knowledge if they are to support ESS. This paper presents, firstly, a conceptual discussion on the topic of spatial form of ESS and, secondly, a principal description of a methodological approach in which we propose to capture the spatial demands for pollination by developing descriptions and measures used in the framework of Space syntax. Thirdly, some preliminary results from a study in Stockholm will be presented as the ground for a discussion about the principal potentials of a spatial morphology of urban ecosystems.