- Prof. Davide Geneletti

Department of Civil Environmental and Mechanical Engineering, University of Trento (Italy)


- Dr. Ir. Marta Pérez-Soba

ALTERRA Wageningen University & Research (Netherlands)


- Dr. Leon Braat

ALTERRA Wageningen University & Research (Netherlands)


Ir. Michiel van Eupen

ALTERRA Wageningen University & Research (Netherlands)




Amsterdam, Netherlands


   spatial scale: 


- neighbourhood

- city




a framework to assess the impact of green infrastructure design on ecosystem services ameliorating Climate Change


A well designed urban green area, coherent with the needs of the city, can foster a well-worn groove for human wellbeing. In 2013 the European Union launched its new Strategy for adaptation to Climate Change, which represented a strong call for Nature-based approaches. Nature-based actions have been recognized as cheap, win-win and multipurpose solution, both in scientific literature and by administrations. However the application of Nature-based actions for Climate Change Adaptation in urban areas is still rare at European level. The main reason is the little awareness about the potential of green areas to ameliorate climate change effects (e.g. Urban Heat Island Adaptation). Consequently, the nature based ecosystem services in urban areas are far from being optimized. This paper presents a framework for assessing how urban green planning can enhance the delivery of ecosystem services that support climate change adaptation and improve human well-being. The framework is based on the potential capacity that different green infrastructures have for climate change adaptation depending on their physical structure and linked functions. It follows the cascade model (Braat and De Groot, 2012) where the links between physical structure, ecosystem function and the derived benefits for human well-beings are made explicit. The framework enables planners and decision makers to design the most (cost)effective green areas for climate change adaptation, by comparing the impact of different urban green alternatives on the delivery of ecosystem services based on the physical structures of the green elements. The framework, structured in seven key steps, is applied to the urban heat island effect by analysing the influence of different green structures (i.e. presence of trees, their canopy, tree coverage, leaf area index) on the ecosystem functions (i.e. shading, wind sheltering and evapotranspiration), which in turn result on climate change adaptation.




   target audience: 


- local

- international

- academics

- practitioners

- application of technologies

- application of technics

- future research