Planning and Design for Sustainable Places Lab

 

Contact:

Davide Geneletti

via Mesiano, 77 I-38123 Trento, Italy

davide.geneletti@unitn.it

Phone: +39 0461 282685

 

   authors: 

   journal: 

 

Land Use Policy, 70:298-312.

 

   links: 

Ecosystem services in urban plans: What is there, and what is still needed for better decisions

Abstract

 

In cities, land-use decisions made during planning processes determine the availability of ecosystem services fundamental to the wellbeing of urban population. Hence, the inclusion of ecosystem services in planning is essential to promote sustainable urban development. This article investigates to what extent ecosystem services are currently included in urban plans. The ultimate objective is to understand what ecosystem service information is already used, and what is still needed to improve planning decisions. We developed a methodology to review the content of planning documents irrespective of the terminology adopted to refer to ecosystem services, and examined the inclusion of nine urban ecosystem services across three plan components. In our sample of 22 urban plans of Italian cities, we found a high number of actions to address urban ecosystem services and a variety of tools for implementation. However, a two-speed integration emerges: a set of ecosystem services (i.e. recreation and some regulating services linked to typical urban environmental problems) are widely addressed, while others are hardly considered. Shortcomings can be partly ascribed to gaps in the scientific literature. Usable methods to assess urban ecosystem services at the right scale and resolution while also accounting for the multi-functionality of urban green infrastructures are still needed. On the other hand, future urban plans would benefit from a further appropriation of the ecosystem service approach by practitioners and decision-makers. Acknowledging the whole range of urban ecosystem services, defining strategic objectives related to their provision, and explicitly identifying demand and beneficiaries could increase awareness of the values at stake, ensure long-term commitment in the implementation phase, and strengthen planning arguments against conflicting interests.

 

   authors: 

 

D. Rozas-Vásquez

 

C. Fürst

D. Geneletti

O. Almendra

 

   journal: 

 

Land Use Policy, 71:303-310

 

   links: 

Integration of ecosystem services in strategic environmental assessment across spatial planning scales

Abstract

 

Spatial planning is a key policy instrument for decision-making which drives future changes to land systems, and subsequently to the quality, quantity and spatial distribution of ecosystem services (ES). Supply and demand of ES vary from local to regional and global scales affecting a wide range of stakeholders. Therefore, a strategic analysis of the potential impacts is highly relevant. Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is considered a suitable instrument for analyzing these impacts as well as for integrating ES during the planning process given its focus on sustainability and environmental aspects at strategic levels. However, an essential task consists of testing the applicability of the SEA-ES framework in real-world spatial planning. The objective of this research is
to explore how ES have been considered in the development of spatial plans at different scales by considering a sample of SEA reports. We focused on a case study in Chile, where we conducted a content analysis of different stages of the SEA process at regional, inter-municipal and municipal planning scales. Our results demonstrate that ES were always present across each SEA stage and planning scale. Additionally, we suggest a relation between specific ES and the scope and focus of the different spatial planning instruments. Although ES are clearly necessary for achieving a number of development objectives and dealing with a range of environmental problems, a critical aspect is the lack of an explicit consideration which might decrease the potential advantages offered by the integrated framework SEA-ES.

 

   authors: 

 

N. Mukherjee

 

A. Zabala

 

J. Huge

 

T.O. Nyumba

 

B. Adem Esmail

 

W.J. Sutherland

 

   journal: 

 

Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 9:54-63

 

   links: 

Comparison of techniques for eliciting views and judgements in decision-making

Abstract

 

  1. Decision-making is a complex process that typically includes a series of stages: identifying the issue, considering possible options, making judgements and then making a decision by combining information and values. The current status quo relies heavily on the informational aspect of decision-making with little or no emphasis on the value positions that affect decisions.

  2. There is increasing realization of the importance of adopting rigorous methods for each stage such that the information, views and judgements of stakeholders and experts are used in a systematic and repeatable manner. Though there are several methodological textbooks which discuss a plethora of social science techniques, it is hard to judge the suitability of any given technique for a given decision problem.

  3. In decision-making, the three critical aspects are “what” decision is to be made, “who” makes the decisions and “how” the decisions are made. The methods covered in this paper focus on “how” decisions can be made. We compare six techniques: Focus Group Discussion (FGD), Interviews, Q methodology, Multi-criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA), Nominal Group Technique and the Delphi technique specifically in the context of biodiversity conservation. All of these techniques (with the exception of MCDA) help in understanding human values and the underlying perspectives which shape decisions.

  4. Based on structured reviews of 423 papers covering all six methods, we compare the conceptual and logistical characteristics of the methods, and map their suitability for the different stages of the decision-making process. While interviews and FGD are well-known, techniques such the Nominal Group technique and Q methodology are relatively under-used. In situations where conflict is high, we recommend using the Q methodology and Delphi technique to elicit judgements. Where conflict is low, and a consensus is needed urgently, the Nominal Group technique may be more suitable.

  5. We present a nuanced synthesis of methods aimed at users. The comparison of the different techniques might be useful for project managers, academics or practitioners in the planning phases of their projects and help in making better informed methodological choices.

 

   authors: 

   journal: 

 

Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 9:42-53

 

   links: 

Multi-criteria decision analysis for nature conservation: A review of 20 years of applications

Abstract

 

  1. Multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) is a method to support decision-making, by exploring the balance between the pros and cons of different alternatives to accomplish a specific goal. It assists in framing decision problems, illustrating the performance of alternatives across criteria, exploring trade-offs, formulating a decision and testing its robustness. This paper provides a structured review of empirical applications of MCDA to nature conservation published in the scientific literature over the last 20 years. The paper aims at taking stock of past experiences, and comparing them with best practices and common pitfalls identified in the literature, to provide recommendations for better MCDA application to conservation.

  2. The review follows the structure of a generalized MCDA process consisting of three key stages: (1) decision context and problem structuring, (2) analysis and (3) decision.

  3. The search identified 86 papers that describe MCDA applications to a range of topics, including conservation prioritization and planning; protected areas management and zoning; forest management and restoration; and mapping of biodiversity, naturalness and wilder. The results show that, concerning problem structuring, a small percentage of the reviewed MCDA engaged stakeholders other than the authors in identifying alternatives and formulating criteria (15% and 35% respectively). Concerning the analysis, criteria assessment was adequately justified by the authors (47%), at times also by involving other stakeholders (22%). Weighting was performed in almost all applications, whereas criteria aggregation was mostly based on the weighted linear combination (63%). Sensitivity analysis was largely overlooked (57%). Concerning decision, 45% of the articles provided only an overall ranking or suitability of alternatives, while 22% included additional rankings according to specific criterion, and 8% further analyses and clustering of stakeholders’ preferences.

  4. The paper concludes by suggesting key elements of successful MCDA applications, including clear construction of the decision context; collaborative identification of alternatives and criteria that reflect the values at stake; adequate justification and communication of the methods for criteria assessment and weighting; reasoned choice of the criteria aggregation method, and comprehensive sensitivity analysis.

 

   authors: 

 

W.J. Sutherland

 

L.V. Dicks

 

M. Everard 

 

D. Geneletti

 

   journal: 

 

Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 9:7-9

 

   links: 

Qualitative methods for ecologists and conservation scientists

Abstract

 

  1. Conservation of biodiversity involves dealing with problems caused by humans, by applying solutions that comprise actions by humans. Understanding human attitudes, knowledge and behaviour are thus central to conservation research and practice.

  2. The special feature brings together authors from a range of disciplines (ecology, human geography, political science, land economy, management) to examine a set of qualitative techniques used in conservation research: Interviews, Focus group discussion, The Nominal Group Technique and multi-criteria decision analysis.

  3. These techniques can be used for a range of purposes—most notably to understand people's perspectives, values and attitudes and to gather information about approaches to management of species, ecosystems or natural resources.

  4. Incorporating human values, perceptions, judgements and knowledge into conservation decision making is an important role for qualitative techniques; they provide robust means for submitting this information or knowledge as evidence.

  5. The articles in this special feature highlight a worrying extent of poor justification and inadequate reporting of qualitative methods in the conservation literature.

  6. To improve and encourage greater use of these techniques in conservation science, we urge improved reporting of rationales and methods, along with innovation, adaptation and further testing of the methods themselves.

 

   authors: 

 

A. Scuttari

F. Orsi

R. Bassani

 

   journal: 

 

Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 2018.

 

   links: 

Assessing the tourism-traffic paradox in mountain destinations. A stated preference survey on the Dolomites’ passes (Italy)

Abstract

 

​In ecologically sensitive but tourism-intensive areas, transport policymakers face the paradox of understanding the need to minimize transport-related impacts, yet being practically unable to change the status quo. This occurs because the acknowledged negative impact of traffic on the tourism economy is perceived as less problematic than the potential effects of traffic management. This paper assesses this paradox by quantifying the effects of traffic management measures on tourist demand in the Dolomites UNESCO World Heritage Site (Italy) and proposing measures that minimize negative side-effects. The study is based on a stated preference survey to elicit visitor sensitivities to a series of management and experiential conditions, and subsequent simulations for estimating the outcomes of future traffic management. Results show that the above-mentioned paradox might be dealt with if a well-balanced mix of “carrot” and “stick” measures is introduced according to territorial needs. In the case of the Dolomites, this means that alternative transportation should be highly performing, i.e. cheap, frequent, integrated and running on an extended daily schedule, whereas restrictions on private mobility should be clear and unavoidable. Results of this study are part of a broader process of re-designing tourism and transportation systems as integrated domains.

 

   authors: 

 

J. Maes

B. Burkhard

D. Geneletti

 

   journal: 

 

OneEcosystem, 3:e24720

 

   links: 

Ecosystem services are inclusive and deliver multiple values. A comment on the concept of nature's contributions to people

Abstract

 

​A recent policy forum article in Science by Díaz et al. (2018) introduces nature's contributions to people (NCP) as an innovative approach to inform policy and decision-making. According to the authors, the NCP concept extends beyond the notion of ecosystem services by incorporating a more inclusive and interdisciplinary approach. Here this claim is challenged. Based on our experiences in Europe, we argue that the science, policy and practice of ecosystem services have progressed much beyond a mere economic and ecological rationale.

 

   authors: 

 

F. Orsi

 

   journal: 

 

Land Use Policy, 76:300-316

 

   links: 

How densely populated and green are the places we live in? A study of the ten largest US cities

Abstract

 

Planners intervening on population density and green space provision to improve the livability of a city should have a deep knowledge about how the two vary throughout it. This paper presents a study conducted in the ten largest US cities to understand what are the conditions of density, public green space provision and greenery provision experienced by their inhabitants, and how these variables are related to each other. Based on 2010 census data, park area shapefiles and high-resolution orthophotos, the three variables were assessed by means of neighborhood operations on 1-m raster files as the number of people, extent of park space and extent of other greenery within a 500-m buffer around each pixel. Results show that only in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia a significant share of the population lives at relatively high densities (>6000 people km−2) and enjoys an adequate provision of public green space (more than 5% of the buffer area). The provision of other greenery is very high (>40%) for most people, especially in the Sun Belt cities, where density is low and the provision of public green space minimal for many. Density and green space provision are generally uncorrelated or weakly negatively correlated, whereas a moderately negative correlation is observed between density and greenery as well as between public green space provision and the provision of other greenery. Future studies should investigate the quality and accessibility of green space in greater detail.

 

   authors: 

   journal: 

 

One Ecosystem, 3:e25477

 

   links: 

Mapping and assessing ecosystem services to support urban planning: A case study on brownfield regeneration in Trento, Italy

Abstract

 

This study explores the use of ecosystem service (ES) knowledge to support urban planning in the assessment of future scenarios. The case study concerns the prioritization of brownfield regeneration interventions in the city of Trento (Italy). Alternative planning scenarios considering the conversion of existing brownfields into new urban parks are assessed and compared. The assessment focuses on two ES of critical importance for the city, namely microclimate regulation and nature-based recreation. The benefits of the different scenarios are quantified based on the number of expected beneficiaries broken down into different vulnerability classes and then compared through a multi-criteria analysis. Three combinations of criteria and weights reflect different planning objectives and related decision-makers’ orientations about what ES and beneficiary groups should be prioritised. The application demonstrates the potential for ES assessments to support urban planning processes in the specific phase of assessment and selection of alternatives, by meeting the requirements in terms of both sensitivity to small-scale changes in land uses or management activities and capacity to capture simultaneous variations in supply and demand of multiple ES. Being coherent with socially-orientated planning objectives, indicators based on ES demand and beneficiaries can effectively convey information about ES in planning decisions. Multi-criteria analysis is an effective way to integrate multiple ES assessments with other information about costs and benefits of planning scenarios, exploring diverse stakeholder perspectives and balancing competing objectives in a rational and transparent way.

 

   authors: 

   journal: 

 

Sustainability, 10:2165

 

   links: 

Assessing Mismatches in the Provision of Urban Ecosystem Services to Support Spatial Planning: A Case Study on Recreation and Food Supply in Havana, Cuba

Abstract

 

Integrating information about how ecosystem services (ES) are provided and benefited from in spatial planning is essential to enhance quality of life in urban areas. This study aims to assess mismatches in the provision of urban ES. Specifically, it compares the amount of services that urban dwellers currently benefit from with the capacity of green spaces to provide service and the ES demand, in order to assess two mismatches: “unsustainable flow” and “unsatisfied demand”, respectively. We focus on two ES, recreation and food supply, and conduct an empirical study in two adjacent municipalities of the city of Havana, Cuba. The methodological approach includes: the identification of services providing and demanding areas; and the quantification of mismatches by carrying out a spatial comparison between critical capacity and flow, and demand and flow. Results show that urban green spaces may be potentially exposed to overcrowding. Concerning food supply, a mismatch between demand and flow emerged in both of the municipalities. The assessment can support planners in addressing the sustainable use of green spaces and the equitable distribution of ES benefits. However, its applicability requires a deep understanding of local specificities, including demand levels, accessibility to ES, and sustainability thresholds.

 

   authors: 

 

D. Reckien

M. Salvia

O. Heidrich

J.M. Church

F. Pietrapertosa

S. De Gregorio-Hurtado

...

D. Geneletti

...

R. Dawson

 

   journal: 

 

Journal of Cleaner Production, 191 (2018):207-219

 

   links: 

How are cities planning to respond to climate change? Assessment of local climate plans from 885 cities in the EU-28

Abstract

 

The Paris Agreement aims to limit global mean temperature rise this century to well below 2 ?C above pre-industrial levels. This target has wide-ranging implications for Europe and its cities, which are the source of substantial greenhouse gas emissions. This paper reports the state of local planning for climate change by collecting and analysing information about local climate mitigation and adaptation plans across 885 urban areas of the EU-28. A typology and framework for analysiswas developed that classifies local climate plans in terms of their alignment with spatial (local, national and international) and other climate related policies. Out of eight types of local climate plans identified in total we document three types of stand-alone local climate plans classified as type A1 (autonomously produced plans), A2 (plans produced to comply with national regulations) or A3 (plans developed for international climate net- works). There is wide variation among countries in the prevalence of local climate plans, with generally more plans developed by central and northern European cities. Approximately 66% of EU cities have a type A1, A2, or A3 mitigation plan, 26% an adaptation plan, and 17% a joint adaptation and mitigation plan, while about 33% lack any form of stand-alone local climate plan (i.e. what we classify as A1, A2, A3 plans). Mitigation plans are more numerous than adaptation plans, but planning for mitigation does not always precede planning for adaptation. Our analysis reveals that city size, national legislation, and in- ternational networks can influence the development of local climate plans. We found that size does matter as about 80% of the cities with above 500,000 inhabitants have a comprehensive and stand-alone mitigation and/or an adaptation plan (A1). Cities in four countries with national climate legislation (A2), i.e. Denmark, France, Slovakia and the United Kingdom, are nearly twice as likely to produce local mitigation plans, and five times more likely to produce local adaptation plans, compared to cities in countries without such legislation. A1 and A2 mitigation plans are particularly numerous in Denmark, Poland, Germany, and Finland; while A1 and A2 adaptation plans are prevalent in Denmark, Finland, UK and France. The integration of adaptation and mitigation is country-specific and can mainly be observed in two countries where local climate plans are compulsory, i.e. France and the UK. Finally, local climate plans produced for international climate networks (A3) are mostly found in the many countries where autonomous (type A1) plans are less common. This is the most comprehensive analysis of local climate planning to date. The findings are of international importance as they will inform and support decision- making towards climate planning and policy development at national, EU and global level being based on the most comprehensive and up-to-date knowledge of local climate planning available to date.

 

   authors: 

   journal: 

 

One Ecosystem, 3:e25382

 

   links: 

Identifying representative case studies for ecosystem services mapping and assessment across Europe

Abstract

 

A key task in the ESMERALDA project dealt with identifying appropriate case studies to test the 'flexible methodology' in its different stages of development. Case studies consist of working examples in which mapping and assessment of ecosystem services were applied to address specific decision-making problems. Testing is understood as an iterative process of co-learning that involves project partners and stakeholders, enabling the refinement of the 'flexible methodology' and the development of guidelines to support its application. Testing is conducted through a series of workshops in different European contexts, each addressing a different set of themes and regions.

This paper illustrates the selection of case studies for testing the ESMERALDA 'flexible methodology' in its different stages of development. Particularly, case studies had to be selected in such a way that they are representative of: (i) the variety of existing conditions across the EU, in terms of data availability, spatial scale, levels of implementation of EU 2020 targets and expertise and experience in ES mapping and assessment; (ii) the geographical regions and biomes of the entire EU, including marine areas and the outermost regions; (iii) the variety of cross-EU themes relevant for ecosystem services, such as the Common Agricultural Policy, Green Infrastructure, Natura 2000 network, forestry strategy, water policy, energy, business and industry sectors and health; (iv) the variety of policy and planning processes that can be used to mainstream ecosystem services in real-life decisions, such as spatial and land use planning, water resource management, flooding under the EU climate adaptation action, energy policy, strategic environmental assessment, protected area planning.

 

   authors: 

 

B. Burkhard

J. Maes

M.B. Potschin-Young

F. Santos-Martín
 

D. Geneletti

P. Stoev

L. Kopperoinen

C.M. Adamescu

B. Adem Esmail 

...

 

Mapping and assessing ecosystem services in the EU - Lessons learned from the ESMERALDA approach of integration

Abstract

 

The European Union (EU) Horizon 2020 Coordination and Support Action ESMERALDA aimed at developing guidance and a flexible methodology for Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services (MAES) to support the EU member states in the implementation of the EU Biodiversity Strategy’s Target 2 Action 5. ESMERALDA’s key tasks included network creation, stakeholder engagement, enhancing ecosystem services mapping and assessment methods across various spatial scales and value domains, work in case studies and support of EU member states in MAES implementation. Thus ESMERALDA aimed at integrating various project outcomes around four major strands: i) Networking, ii) Policy, iii) Research and iv) Application. The objective was to provide guidance for integrated ecosystem service mapping and assessment that can be used for sustainable decision-making in policy, business, society, practice and science at EU, national and regional levels. This article presents the overall ESMERALDA approach of integrating the above-mentioned project components and outcomes and provides an overview of how the enhanced methods were applied and how they can be used to support MAES implementation in the EU member states. Experiences with implementing such a large pan-European Coordination and Support Action in the context of EU policy are discussed and recommendations for future actions are given.

   journal: 

 

One Ecosystem, 3:e29153

 

   links: 

 

   authors: 

 

C. Cortinovis

G. Zulian

 

D. Geneletti

   journal: 

 

Land, 7:112

   links: 

Assessing Nature-Based Recreation to Support Urban Green Infrastructure Planning in Trento (Italy)

Abstract

 

Nature-based recreation is among the most relevant ecosystem services supplied by urban green infrastructure, affecting citizens’ physical and mental wellbeing. Providing adequate green spaces for nature-based recreation is among the main goals of urban planning, but commonly-used indicators offer a partial view on the issue. Innovative methods and approaches, such as the ESTIMAP-recreation model, appear as promising ways to increase the quality of information available for decision-makers by considering both the range of green spaces that provide the service and the locally-specific demand. The article presents an application of the ESTIMAP-recreation model to the city of Trento (Italy), aimed at testing its adaptation to the local context and the potential improvements brought to urban planning. The comparison of the results with traditional indicators based on the availability and accessibility to urban parks shows significant differences in terms of priority of intervention across the city, with implications on planning decisions. The application demonstrates that innovative methods can enhance the understanding of nature-based recreation in cities beyond the focus on urban parks, revealing a wide portfolio of actions that planners can put in place to promote nature-based recreation through a multifunctional green infrastructure.

 

   authors: 

   journal: 

 

International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management, 14(1):189-209

   links: 

Assessing ecosystem services and biodiversity tradeoffs across agricultural landscapes in a mountain region

Abstract

 

The ability of agricultural areas to produce non-commodity outputs in addition to food and fiber, i.e. multifunctionality, is increasingly at the core of policies promoting sustainability. Assessing the potential benefits for biodiversity and understanding tradeoffs among multiple ecosystem services (ES) from agricultural areas remain key challenges, especially in mountainous landscapes. Through a case-study approach, we assess the tradeoffs and synergies between the ES associated with agricultural areas. We map and assess the ES provided by seven study areas in northern Italy, aiming to provide guidance on the relationship between the agricultural land use intensity and provision of ES. In total, we performed a quantitative evaluation of 10 ES indicators, followed by their thematic aggregation and correlation analyses to gain a better understanding of the spatial ES tradeoffs. Our findings highlight that the transition to intensive forms of agricultural exploitation, in addition to the loss of habitats, also involves a reduction in cultural services.

 

   authors: 

   authors: 

J. Babí Almenar,

 

B. Rugani,

 

D. Geneletti,

T. Brewer,

J. Babí Almenar,

 

B. Rugani,

 

D. Geneletti,

T. Brewer,

   journal: 

   journal: 

Landscape Ecology

Landscape Ecology

   links: 

   links: 

Integration of ecosystem services into a conceptual spatial planning framework based on a landscape ecology perspective

Integration of ecosystem services into a conceptual spatial planning framework based on a landscape ecology perspective

Abstract

 

Urbanization is viewed as endangering more critical habitats of global value and is more ubiquitous than any other human activity affecting biodiversity, climate, water and nutrient cycles at multiple scales. Spatial and landscape planning can help create alternative urban patterns protecting ecosystems and thus supporting the provision of needed services they provide. While many approaches exist to make the values of nature explicit, new tools are needed to interpret the vast quantity of information in an integrated assessment to support planning. In this study, we present a new spatial decision support tool PALM (“Potential Allocation of urban development areas for sustainable Land Management”) aimed at supporting the allocation of urban development zones. A GIS-based MCDA approach was integrated into a web-based platform that allows distributing a requested amount of urban development areas within a selected perimeter based on ecosystem services and locational factors. The short running time of different user-defined scenarios allows exploring consequences and tradeoffs between decisions in an interactive way, thus making it a useful tool to support discussions in participatory planning processes. The results of the application of PALM in a case study region in Switzerland show that integrating ecosystem services when distributing urban development areas is particularly effective in urban peripheries, where building zones are shifted towards urban centers securing the productive soils located around cities. This shift of building zones from the urban peripheries to the urban centers when considering ecosystem services is less pronounced in rural areas, as they provide fewer ecosystem services. However, the results also show that integrating ecosystem services in spatial planning needs to be embedded in the right policy context: Ecosystem services can only be traded-off for locational factors if the perimeter of the case study ranges across municipalities. Whereas this transparent and flexible platform offers a suitable tool at the beginning of a planning process, we also discuss further development needs.

Abstract

 

Urbanization is viewed as endangering more critical habitats of global value and is more ubiquitous than any other human activity affecting biodiversity, climate, water and nutrient cycles at multiple scales. Spatial and landscape planning can help create alternative urban patterns protecting ecosystems and thus supporting the provision of needed services they provide. While many approaches exist to make the values of nature explicit, new tools are needed to interpret the vast quantity of information in an integrated assessment to support planning. In this study, we present a new spatial decision support tool PALM (“Potential Allocation of urban development areas for sustainable Land Management”) aimed at supporting the allocation of urban development zones. A GIS-based MCDA approach was integrated into a web-based platform that allows distributing a requested amount of urban development areas within a selected perimeter based on ecosystem services and locational factors. The short running time of different user-defined scenarios allows exploring consequences and tradeoffs between decisions in an interactive way, thus making it a useful tool to support discussions in participatory planning processes. The results of the application of PALM in a case study region in Switzerland show that integrating ecosystem services when distributing urban development areas is particularly effective in urban peripheries, where building zones are shifted towards urban centers securing the productive soils located around cities. This shift of building zones from the urban peripheries to the urban centers when considering ecosystem services is less pronounced in rural areas, as they provide fewer ecosystem services. However, the results also show that integrating ecosystem services in spatial planning needs to be embedded in the right policy context: Ecosystem services can only be traded-off for locational factors if the perimeter of the case study ranges across municipalities. Whereas this transparent and flexible platform offers a suitable tool at the beginning of a planning process, we also discuss further development needs.

   authors: 

   authors: 

F. Pietrapertosa

 

M. Salvia

S. De Gregorio Hurtado

 

V. D'Alonzo

J.M. Church

D. Geneletti

F. Musco

D. Reckien

   journal: 

   journal: 

Cities

Urban climate change mitigation and adaptation planning: Are Italian cities ready?

Abstract

Climate Action Planning is one of the top priorities of cities in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthening climate-resilience, as pointed out by the New Urban Agenda and the Paris Agreement.

This study aims at assessing the development of climate change mitigation and adaptation planning in Italian cities. To this end, we analysed the availability of Local Climate Plans (LCPs) in 76 cities, which are included in the Eurostat Urban Audit (UA-2015) database. In a further step, we analysed the content of the urban climate change mitigation and adaptation plans available in a smaller sample of 32 Italian cities of 2007 Eurostat Urban Audit database (UA-3), looking at the single actions undertaken for addressing mitigation and adaptation to climate change. Results show the almost total absence of comprehensive and stand-alone urban climate change adaptation plans in Italy (except for two cities, Ancona and Bologna), whereas we found that in 61 out of 76 cities municipal civil protection plans are the instruments that deal with local emergencies associated to extreme weather events. On the other hand, 56 out of 76 urban climate change mitigation plans (i.e. Sustainable Energy Action Plans) are being developed in the framework of the Covenant of Mayors, which is a transnational network of local governments created by the European Union (EU) in 2012. The results obtained on the mitigation side point out that, in absence of a national law that imposes Italian cities to develop LCPs, transnational networks are an effective boost to voluntary commitment to reach EU climate and energy objectives.

 

   links: 

   links: 

 

   authors: 

M. Spyra

 

J. Kleemann

N. I. Cetin

 

C. J. Vázquez Navarrete

C. Albert

I. Palacios-Agundez

I. Ametzaga-Arregi

D. La Rosa

D. Rozas-Vásquez

B. Adem Esmail

P. Picchi

 

D. Geneletti,

...

The ecosystem services concept: a new Esperanto to facilitate participatory planning processes?

Abstract

Context: Several case studies investigated the role of ecosystem services in participatory planning processes. However, no systematic study exists that cuts across a large number of empirical cases to identify the implications of using ecosystem services in participatory planning.

Objectives: This study explores the potential of the ecosystem services concept to act as a boundary concept (“new Esperanto”) to facilitate the integration of actors’ perceptions and objectives into planning goals.

Methods: We analyzed eleven case studies to explore how the ecosystem services concept has been operationalized to support participatory planning processes, and to identify lessons from successful applications. We characterized the case studies according to contextual and methodological criteria. Each case study was assessed through a codified score card method in order to detect success or failure criteria in using the ecosystem services concept in participatory planning. We compared the case study criteria with the results of the balanced score card method.

Results: We identified several positive effects of applying the ecosystem services concept in participatory planning, including the facilitation of knowledge sharing and consideration of local experiences, the support towards a shared vision, and the increased awareness among local actors concerning their role as ecosystem services suppliers or beneficiaries. Among the drawbacks, we identified the risk of overemphasizing specific ecosystem goods or services during the process.

Conclusions: We conclude by providing some recommendations to enhance future practice related to issues such as communication, use of local knowledge and integration of ecosystem services in existing legal instruments.

   journal: 

Landscape Ecology

   links: