Cultural ecosystem benefits of urban and peri-urban green infrastructure across different European countries


Green Infra­struc­ture within urban areas has become increa­sin­gly impor­tant in recent years. There has been the deve­lop­ment of a Euro­pean Com­mis­sion green infra­struc­ture stra­te­gy and a range of ini­tia­tives iden­ti­fying the impor­tance of green infra­struc­ture. This paper expli­cit­ly iden­ti­fies the cultu­ral eco­sys­tem bene­fits gai­ned from urban and peri-urban green infra­struc­ture dra­wing on stu­dies under­ta­ken in dif­ferent Euro­pean coun­tries. The paper uti­lises the cultu­ral eco­sys­tem ser­vices fra­me­work deve­lo­ped in a Uni­ted King­dom Natio­nal Eco­sys­tem Assess­ment pro­ject. A review of lite­ra­ture iden­ti­fied stu­dies from fif­teen dif­ferent coun­tries and explores lin­kages bet­ween the types of green infra­struc­ture, the prac­tices under­ta­ken in these spaces and the cultu­ral eco­sys­tem bene­fits gai­ned. The results show that there are few detai­led lin­kages made bet­ween the types of green infra­struc­ture and the prac­tices and bene­fits asso­cia­ted with these. The cultu­ral eco­sys­tem fra­me­work pro­vides an impor­tant concep­tual approach and this paper is one of the first to popu­late the fra­me­work in grea­ter detail. Fur­ther research is nee­ded to assess the dif­fe­rences in bene­fits and prac­tices asso­cia­ted with dif­ferent types of green infra­struc­ture. A key mes­sage is that the cultu­ral eco­sys­tem bene­fits iden­ti­fied are wide ran­ging, diverse and mul­tiple. The typo­lo­gies and concep­tual matrix deve­lo­ped in this paper could be uti­li­sed by green infra­struc­ture prac­ti­tio­ners to assist them in taking account of cultu­ral eco­sys­tem bene­fits in their mana­ge­ment deci­sion making pro­cesses.

O’Brien L, De Vreese R, Kern M, Sievä­nen T, Sto­ja­no­va B, Atmis E (2017) Cultu­ral eco­sys­tem bene­fits of urban and peri-urban green infra­struc­ture across dif­ferent Euro­pean coun­tries. Urban Fores­try & Urban Gree­ning, 24: 236–248. DOI10.1016/j.ufug.2017.03.002