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Ambio. 2014 May;43(4):454-65. doi: 10.1007/s13280-014-0502-2.

Development of a concept for non-monetary assessment of urban ecosystem services at the site level.

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Department for Geography and Geology, University of Salzburg, Hellbrunnerstr. 34, 5020, Salzburg, Austria,


Determining the performance of ecosystem services at the city or regional level cannot accurately take into account the fine differences between green or gray structures. The supply of regulating ecosystem services in, for instance, parks can differ as parks vary in their land cover composition. A comprehensive ecosystem service assessment approach also needs to reflect land use to consider the demands placed on ecosystem services, which are mostly neglected by current research yet important for urban planning. For instance, if a sealed surface is no longer used, it could be unsealed to improve ecosystem service supply. Because of these scientific shortcomings, this article argues for a conceptual framework for the non-monetary assessment of urban ecosystem services at the site scale. This paper introduces a standardized method for selecting representative sites and evaluating their supply of and demand on ecosystem services. The conceptual design is supplemented by examples of Salzburg, Austria.

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