Action 5 of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 requires member states to Map and Assess the state of Ecosystems and their Services (MAES). This report provides guidance for mapping and assessment of urban ecosystems. The MAES urban pilot is a collaboration between the European Commission, the European Environment Agency, volunteering Member States and cities, and stakeholders. Its ultimate goal is to deliver a knowledge base for policy and management of urban ecosystems by analysing urban green infrastructure, condition of urban ecosystems and ecosystem services. This report presents guidance for mapping urban ecosystems and includes an indicator framework to assess the condition of urban ecosystems and urban ecosystem services. The scientific framework of mapping and assessment is designed to support in particular urban planning policy and policy on green infrastructure at urban, metropolitan and regional scales. The results are based on the following different sources of information: a literature survey of 54 scientific articles, an online-survey (on urban ecosystems, related policies and planning instruments and with participation of 42 cities), ten case studies (Portugal: Cascais, Oeiras, Lisbon; Italy: Padua, Trento, Rome; The Netherlands: Utrecht; Poland: Poznań; Spain: Barcelona; Norway: Oslo), and a two-day expert workshop. The case studies constituted the core of the MAES urban pilot. They provided real examples and applications of how mapping and assessment can be organized to support policy; on top, they provided the necessary expertise to select a set of final indicators for condition and ecosystem services. Urban ecosystems or cities are defined here as socio-ecological systems which are composed of green infrastructure and built infrastructure. Urban green infrastructure (GI) is understood in this report as the multi-functional network of urban green spaces situated within the boundary of the urban ecosystem. Urban green spaces are the structural components of urban GI. This study has shown that there is a large scope for urban ecosystem assessments. Firstly, urban policies increasingly use urban green infrastructure and nature-based solutions in their planning process. Secondly, an increasing amount of data at multiple spatial scales is becoming available to support these policies, to provide a baseline, and to compare or benchmark cities with respect to the extent and management of the urban ecosystem. Concrete examples are given on how to delineate urban ecosystems, how to choose an appropriate spatial scale, and how to map urban ecosystems based on a combination of national or European datasets (including Urban Atlas) and locally collected information (e.g., location of trees). Also examples of typologies for urban green spaces are presented. This report presents an indicator framework which is composed of indicators to assess for urban ecosystem condition and for urban ecosystem services. These are the result of a rigorous selection process and ensure consistent mapping and assessment across Europe. The MAES urban pilot will continue with work on the interface between research and policy. The framework presented in this report needs to be tested and validated across Europe, e.g. on its applicability at city scale, on how far the methodology for measuring ecosystem condition and ecosystem service delivery in urban areas can be used to assess urban green infrastructure and nature-based solutions.

Mapping and assessment of ecosystems and their services. Urban ecosystems / Maes, J; Zulian, G; Thijssen, M; Castell, C; Baró, F; Ferreira, Am; Melo, J; Garrett, Cp; David, N; Alzetta, C; Geneletti, D; Cortinovis, C; Zwierzchowska, I; Louro Alves, F; Souto Cruz, C; Blasi, Carlo; ALOS ORTI, MARTA MARIA; Attorre, Fabio; Azzella, MATTIA MARTIN; Capotorti, Giulia; Copiz, Riccardo; Fusaro, Lina; Manes, Fausto; Marando, Federica; Marchetti, Marco; Mollo, Barbara; Salvatori, Elisabetta; Zavattero, Laura; Zingari, Pc; Giarratano, Mc; Bianchi, E; Duprè, E; Barton, D; Stange, E; Perez Soba, M; van Eupen, M; Verweij, P; de Vries, A; Kruse, H; Polce, C; Cugny Seguin, M; Erhard, M; Nicolau, R; Fonseca, A; Fritz, M; Teller, A. - STAMPA. - KH-01-16-525-EN-N:(2016), pp. 1-100. [10.2779/625242].

Mapping and assessment of ecosystems and their services. Urban ecosystems

BLASI, Carlo;ALOS ORTI, MARTA MARIA;ATTORRE, Fabio;AZZELLA, MATTIA MARTIN;CAPOTORTI, Giulia;COPIZ, RICCARDO;FUSARO, LINA;MANES, Fausto;MARANDO, FEDERICA;MARCHETTI, MARCO;MOLLO, BARBARA;SALVATORI, ELISABETTA;ZAVATTERO, LAURA;
2016

Abstract

Action 5 of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 requires member states to Map and Assess the state of Ecosystems and their Services (MAES). This report provides guidance for mapping and assessment of urban ecosystems. The MAES urban pilot is a collaboration between the European Commission, the European Environment Agency, volunteering Member States and cities, and stakeholders. Its ultimate goal is to deliver a knowledge base for policy and management of urban ecosystems by analysing urban green infrastructure, condition of urban ecosystems and ecosystem services. This report presents guidance for mapping urban ecosystems and includes an indicator framework to assess the condition of urban ecosystems and urban ecosystem services. The scientific framework of mapping and assessment is designed to support in particular urban planning policy and policy on green infrastructure at urban, metropolitan and regional scales. The results are based on the following different sources of information: a literature survey of 54 scientific articles, an online-survey (on urban ecosystems, related policies and planning instruments and with participation of 42 cities), ten case studies (Portugal: Cascais, Oeiras, Lisbon; Italy: Padua, Trento, Rome; The Netherlands: Utrecht; Poland: Poznań; Spain: Barcelona; Norway: Oslo), and a two-day expert workshop. The case studies constituted the core of the MAES urban pilot. They provided real examples and applications of how mapping and assessment can be organized to support policy; on top, they provided the necessary expertise to select a set of final indicators for condition and ecosystem services. Urban ecosystems or cities are defined here as socio-ecological systems which are composed of green infrastructure and built infrastructure. Urban green infrastructure (GI) is understood in this report as the multi-functional network of urban green spaces situated within the boundary of the urban ecosystem. Urban green spaces are the structural components of urban GI. This study has shown that there is a large scope for urban ecosystem assessments. Firstly, urban policies increasingly use urban green infrastructure and nature-based solutions in their planning process. Secondly, an increasing amount of data at multiple spatial scales is becoming available to support these policies, to provide a baseline, and to compare or benchmark cities with respect to the extent and management of the urban ecosystem. Concrete examples are given on how to delineate urban ecosystems, how to choose an appropriate spatial scale, and how to map urban ecosystems based on a combination of national or European datasets (including Urban Atlas) and locally collected information (e.g., location of trees). Also examples of typologies for urban green spaces are presented. This report presents an indicator framework which is composed of indicators to assess for urban ecosystem condition and for urban ecosystem services. These are the result of a rigorous selection process and ensure consistent mapping and assessment across Europe. The MAES urban pilot will continue with work on the interface between research and policy. The framework presented in this report needs to be tested and validated across Europe, e.g. on its applicability at city scale, on how far the methodology for measuring ecosystem condition and ecosystem service delivery in urban areas can be used to assess urban green infrastructure and nature-based solutions.
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