Sustainable development has to be based on scientific knowledge, social agreements, and political decisions. This study aimed to analyse the implementation of the ecosystem services approach (ESA) in the spatial planning of the Basque Country, via the co-creation of knowledge. This paper uses a proposal for a regional green infrastructure (GI) to examine the co-creation of knowledge process. It addresses the community of practice; a process of co-creation of knowledge through workshops and meeting, SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis using an online survey, and mapping and identification of the multifunctional areas that provide ecosystem services (ES) to develop a GI. Results indicate that ESA has been included in spatial planning actions at different scales (biosphere reserve, metropolitan area, and region). This subsequently created an avenue for understanding the political necessities at play, so that scientists can develop useful tools for sustainable development. The findings also draw attention to the importance of establishing a constructive and mutually comprehensible dialogue between politicians, technical experts and scientists. For ES to be part of spatial planning, ESA has to be taken into account at the beginning of the planning process. We conclude that building bridges between science and spatial planning can help establish science-based management guidelines and tools that help enhance the sustainability of the territory.
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