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Article

Who Pays the Bill? Assessing Ecosystem Services Losses in an Urban Planning Context

by 1,* and 1,2
1
Institute of Geography, The Ruhr-University Bochum, 44801 Bochum, Germany
2
Universidad Autonoma de Chile, 4810101 Temuco, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Alessio Russo
Land 2021, 10(4), 369; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10040369
Received: 8 March 2021 / Revised: 31 March 2021 / Accepted: 31 March 2021 / Published: 2 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Ecosystem Services II: Toward a Sustainable Future)
While Ecosystem Services (ES) are crucial for sustaining human wellbeing, urban development can threaten their sustainable supply. Following recent EU directives, many countries in Europe are implementing laws and regulations to protect and improve ES at local and regional levels. However, urban planning regulations already consider mandatory compensation for the loss of nature, and this compensation is often restricted to replacing green with green in other locations. This situation might lead to the loss of ES in areas subject to urban development, a loss that would eventually be replaced elsewhere. Therefore, ES assessments should be included in urban planning to improve the environmental conditions of urban landscapes where development takes place. Using an actual planning and development example that involves a proposed road to a restructured former industrial area in Bochum, Germany, we developed an ad-hoc assessment to compare a standard environmental compensation approach applying ES. We evaluated the impact of the planned construction alternatives with both approaches. In a second step, we selected the alternative with a lower impact and estimated the ES losses from the compensation measures. Our findings show that an ES assessment provides a solid basis for the selection of development alternatives, the identification of compensation areas, and the estimation of compensation amounts, with the benefit of improving the environmental quality of the affected areas. Our method was effective in strengthening urban planning, using ES science in the assessment and evaluation of urban development alternatives. View Full-Text
Keywords: compensation measures; urban resilience; urban development; impact assessment compensation measures; urban resilience; urban development; impact assessment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zepp, H.; Inostroza, L. Who Pays the Bill? Assessing Ecosystem Services Losses in an Urban Planning Context. Land 2021, 10, 369. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10040369

AMA Style

Zepp H, Inostroza L. Who Pays the Bill? Assessing Ecosystem Services Losses in an Urban Planning Context. Land. 2021; 10(4):369. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10040369

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zepp, Harald, and Luis Inostroza. 2021. "Who Pays the Bill? Assessing Ecosystem Services Losses in an Urban Planning Context" Land 10, no. 4: 369. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10040369

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