Well-being in Urban Areas

NbS for improving Well-being in Urban Areas

Key insights for the future of urban ecosystem services research

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 11:01am
Understanding the dynamics of urban ecosystem services is a necessary requirement for adequate planning, management, and governance of urban green infrastructure. Through the three-year Urban Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (URBES) research project, we conducted case study and comparative research on urban biodiversity and ecosystem services across seven cities in Europe and the United States.

Subjective perception of noise exposure in relation to urban green space availability

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 11:00am
Noise pollution has been recognized as one of major threats to the health of urban residents. Increasing green space availability can create a natural buffer to the adverse effects of living in an urban environment. These positive effects of urban green space can be directly related to an objective reduction of noise levels and – indirectly – to the subjective perception of noise exposure.

The health benefits of nature-based solutions to urbanization challenges for children and the elderly – A systematic review

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 10:59am
Urban green and blue spaces promote health by offering areas for physical activity, stress relief, and social interaction, which may be considered as cultural ecosystem services. They also provide a number of regulating ecosystem services that can be regarded as nature-based solutions to mitigate impacts from urbanization-induced challenges. Urban trees and other vegetation provide cooling through shade and evapotranspiration, which reduce the impact of the urban heat island on hot summer days. Urban vegetation may improve air quality by removing air pollutants.

Nature-based solutions to climate change mitigation and adaptation in urban areas: Perspectives on indicators, knowledge gaps, barriers, and opportunities for action

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 10:58am
Nature-based solutions promoting green and blue urban areas have significant potential to decrease the vulnerability and enhance the resilience of cities in light of climatic change. They can thereby help to mitigate climate change-induced impacts and serve as proactive adaptation options for municipalities. We explore the various contexts in which nature-based solutions are relevant for climate mitigation and adaptation in urban areas, identify indicators for assessing the effectiveness of nature-based solutions and related knowledge gaps.

Hybrid system for the purification of street stormwater runoff supplying urban recreation reservoirs

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 10:57am
A high percentage of urban areas are covered by impermeable surfaces which reduce infiltration and landscape retention of stormwater. Moreover, the pollution flushed from these areas, particularly after intensive rainfall, is often drained directly to rivers and reservoirs which, in many cases, also serve a recreational function in cities. Stormwater runoff contributes to degradation of aquatic ecosystems and their intensified eutrophication which, in growing seasons, results in toxic cyanobacterial blooms.

“Not in their front yard” The opportunities and challenges of introducing perennial urban meadows: A local authority stakeholder perspective

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 10:56am
The growing evidence base for the benefits for people and wildlife of nature-based solutions to managing urban green infrastructure lacks research investigating land manager perspectives on their implementation. To address this gap, we explored UK local authority manager perceptions of the challenges and opportunities of introducing perennial urban meadows to prioritise biodiversity and aesthetics. This was co-produced as an experiment in urban greenspaces with Luton Parks Service and Bedford Borough Council 2013–15.

Identifying Five Different Perspectives on the Ecosystem Services Concept Using Q Methodology

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 10:54am
The objective of this paper is to recognize and categorize the various ways that ecosystem services researchers perceive the concept and purpose of ecosystem services (ES). To do so, we employed the discourse analysis approach of Q methodology, where 33 researchers ranked 39 statements on ES derived from the literature.

Greening cities – To be socially inclusive? About the alleged paradox of society and ecology in cities

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 10:53am
Greening cities, namely installing new parks, rooftop gardens or planting trees along the streets, undoubtedly contributes to an increase in wellbeing and enhances the attractiveness of open spaces in cities. At the same time, we observe an increasing use of greening strategies as ingredients of urban renewal, upgrading and urban revitalization as primarily market-driven endeavours targeting middle class and higher income groups sometimes at the expense of less privileged residents. This paper reflects on the current debate of the social effects of greening using selected examples.

Reflections about blue ecosystem services in cities

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 10:52am
Water is of particular importance for cities. Many fast growing megacities are facing serious water-related problems including pollution, eutrophication, missing wastewater treatment and, perhaps most importantly, a severe scarcity of clean water. In the entire urban world, water resources are used in an inefficient way. But there is great potential: this opinion paper discusses ecosystem services provided by waters-hereafter referred to as blue urban ecosystem services-and respective links to green infrastructure and the services they provide for human wellbeing.

Innovative urban forestry governance in Melbourne?: Investigating “green placemaking” as a nature-based solution

Submitted by Stavros Stagakis on June 20, 2018 - 10:52am
A nature-based approach to climate resilience aims to challenge and re-frame conventional environmental management methods by refocusing solutions from technological strategies to socio-ecological principles such as human well-being and community-based governance models, thereby improving and legitimizing the delivery of ecosystem services (ES). There are, however, many challenges to applying a socio-ecological agenda to urban climate resilience and thereby re-framing ES delivery as community and people focused, a knowledge gap extensively outlined in the environmental governance literature.