[Book chapter] Urban Ecosystem Services

Gómez-Baggethun, E, Å Gren, DN Barton, J Langemeyer, T McPhearson, P O’Farrell, E Andersson, Z Hamstead and P Kremer. 2013. In: Global Urbanization, Biodiversity, and Ecosystems - Challenges and Opportunities Cities and Biodiversity Outlook - Scientific Analyses and Assessments (T Elmqvist, M Fragkias, J Goodness, B Güneralp, PJ Marcotullio, RI McDonald, S Parnell, M Schewenius, M Sendstad, KC Seto and C Wilkinson (Eds.)), Dordrecht, NL: Springer Verlag., pp. 175-251, ISBN: 978-94-007-7088-1The authors explore the potential of urban ecosystem services for improving resilience and quality of life in cities. First, they classify and categorise important ecosystem services and disservices in urban areas. Second, they describe a range of valuation approaches (cultural values, health benefits, economic costs, and resilience) for capturing the importance of urban ecosystem service multiple values. Finally, they analyse how ecosystem service assessment may inform urban planning and governance and provide practical examples from cities in Africa, Europe, and America. From their review, they find that many urban ecosystem services have already been identified, characterised and valued, and have been found to be of great value and importance for human well-being and urban resilience. The concludes that the use of the concept of urban ecosystem services can play a critical role in reconnecting cities to the biosphere, and reducing the ecological footprint and ecological debt of cities while enhancing resilience, health, and quality of life of their inhabitants.


We endorsed this book chapter because it provides a strong introduction to the field of urban ecosystem services; it also makes a contribution to challenges 2 and 3 of the ecoSERVICES science strategy.

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