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Open AccessArticle

Implementing Green Infrastructure for the Spatial Planning of Peri-Urban Areas in Geneva, Switzerland

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University of Geneva, Institute for Environmental Sciences, Bd Carl-Vogt 66, CH-1211 Geneva, Switzerland
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Finnish Natural History Museum, P.O.Box 17, FI- 00014 University of Helsinki, 00100 Helsinki, Finland
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Department of Geosciences and Geography, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, 00100 Helsinki, Finland
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Conservatory and Botanical Garden of the City of Geneva, Switzerland, 1 ch. de l’Impératrice, CH-1292 Chambésy, Switzerland
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University of Geneva, Department F.-A. Forel of Environmental and Aquatic Sciences, Bd Carl-Vogt 66, CH-1211 Geneva, Switzerland
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HEPIA (Haute École du Paysage, d’Ingénierie et d’Architecture de Genève), rue de la Prairie 4, CH-1202 Geneva, Switzerland
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OCAN (Office cantonal de l’agriculture et de la nature), rue des Battoirs 7, CH-1205, Geneva, Switzerland
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1387; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12041387 (registering DOI)
Received: 24 January 2020 / Revised: 10 February 2020 / Accepted: 11 February 2020 / Published: 13 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service: Challenges for the Future)
The concept of green infrastructure (GI) seeks to identify and prioritize areas of high ecological value for wildlife and people, to improve the integration of natural values in landscape planning decisions. In 2018, the canton of Geneva, Switzerland, established a roadmap for biodiversity conservation, which includes the operationalization of GI covering 30% of the territory by 2030. In this paper, we demonstrate a GI mapping framework in the canton of Geneva. Our approach is based on the combined assessment of three ‘pillars’, namely species’ distribution, landscape structure and connectivity, and ecosystem services, to optimize the allocation of conservation actions using the spatial prioritization software, Zonation. The identified priority conservation areas closely overlap existing natural reserves. Including the three pillars in the landscape prioritization should also improve adhesion to the GI idea, without undermining the protection of threatened species. With regards to land use planning, public and private land parcels with high values for GI may require specific incentives to maintain their desirable characteristics, as they are more likely to be degraded than areas with more building restrictions. Visualizing priority conservation areas in a spatially explicit manner will support decision-makers in Geneva to optimally allocate limited resources for ecosystem preservation.
Keywords: spatial conservation prioritization; systematic conservation planning; environmental policy; Zonation; Biodiversity Strategy; Geneva; Switzerland spatial conservation prioritization; systematic conservation planning; environmental policy; Zonation; Biodiversity Strategy; Geneva; Switzerland
MDPI and ACS Style

Honeck, E.; Moilanen, A.; Guinaudeau, B.; Wyler, N.; Schlaepfer, M.A.; Martin, P.; Sanguet, A.; Urbina, L.; Arx, B.; Massy, J.; Fisher, C.; Lehmann, A. Implementing Green Infrastructure for the Spatial Planning of Peri-Urban Areas in Geneva, Switzerland. Sustainability 2020, 12, 1387.

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