Integrating the concept of ecosystem services (ES) into spatial planning is an opportunity to make land use and management choices that maximize the delivery of multiple ES. The assessment of social demand can be useful for the identification of priority areas or potential conflicts among stakeholders. We used Q-methodology to understand stakeholder perspectives on ES to facilitate their integration into spatial planning in the canton of Vaud, Switzerland. Three perspectives, utilitarian, cultural and protective, were analyzed and used to discuss potential implications for spatial planning. First, ecosystem multifunctionality and synergies among ES should be emphasized. Second, the food production system should move away from a productive-only approach, to a system that protects soils and their functions. Providing a paradigm change, arable land could be protected to the same level as forests and farmers could be incentivized further to change their practices. Finally, our findings show a potential over-interpretation of the importance of cultural ES in current planning policies, as most participants would be ready to change their behaviors to preserve biological functions. It would be useful to conduct a similar study in other cantons to ensure that the results are fully representative of the current situation in Switzerland.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited