Ecosystem Services in Urban Land-Use Planning: Integration Challenges in Complex Urban Settings - Case of Stockholm
Conference contribution, 2013
Ecosystem services depend on spatial structure of ecosystems. It is acknowledged the benefits humans can derive from biophysical processes depend on generation, distribution and articulation of ecosystem services through day-to-day management and urban development patterns. On the other hand the benefits from nature may place constraints on the choices how to use the land. The future capability of ecosystems to generate services is determined by changes in socio-economic structures, land use, biodiversity, and climate.
Land use change has been recognized among many aspects of global changes as the key human-induced effect on ecosystems. Increased urbanisation in Europe in the recent decades led to development of new settlements, growing transport networks. New aspirations of citizens have resulted in higher use of land for recreation and leisure. These land-use changes have directly influenced the provision of ecosystem services.
However, even if much has been written about ecosystem services and theirs multiple relationships in space, impact of ecosystem services approach on urban planning, policy making is still limited. Growing degradation and declining resilience of ecosystems along with escalation of impacts of natural hazards is assigned to the non-integration of ecosystem services in land-use planning.
A framework of this paper is constructed to identify what kind of knowledge is currently missing in relation to ecosystem services, as well as challenges linked to integrating ecosystem services into land-use planning. Answering the question requires knowledge about relationship between land-use change and ecosystem services in urban regions. The first part of the paper reviewed the literature on the connections between ecosystem services and land use planning. The second part of the paper analysed material from interviews and workshop organized in Stockholm. The important outcomes of the study include identified uncertainties revealing particular challenges and knowledge gaps indicated and ranked by stakeholders to implement concept of ecosystem services in spatial planning in Stockholm but also proposed recommendations how to deal with recognized uncertainties.