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Urban comprehensive planning - identifying barriers for the maintenance of functional habitat networks
Univ Orebro, Dept Nat Sci, Ctr Landscape Ecol, Orebro.
Swedish Univ Agr Sci, Fac Forest Sci, Sch Forest Engineers, Skinnskatteberg.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Urban and Regional Studies.
2006 (English)In: Landscape and Urban Planning, ISSN 0169-2046, Vol. 75, no 1-2, 43-57 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Maintaining biodiversity requires a wise combination of protection, management and recreation of habitats to secure representative and functional habitat networks. As urbanisation is increasing worldwide. town and cities are becoming the most common habitat for humankind. Accordingly, the urban landscape is becoming increasingly important for maintaining biodiversity on site, as well as for understanding the concept of biodiversity in general, and its maintenance in urban landscapes. We evaluated the extent to which Swedish urban planners experience barriers when using comprehensive planning as a tool for the maintenance of biodiversity through the provision of sufficient quantity and quality of green space. All of the six large Swedish cities, having had constant relative population growth since the beginning of the 19th century were chosen as case studies. We first defined a normative model for planning urban biodiversity and operationalised this concept by using landscape ecological principles. Structured in-depth interviews were then carried out with three planners in each city. The respondents were asked about their interest, ability, and knowledge concerning planning for functional networks of green spaces in relation to the normative model. The in-depth interviews with 18 urban planners indicated that legislation was an important driver for green space planning that they paid attention to new knowledge concerning recreation values and public health, but that biodiversity maintenance was not a high priority. There was a general agreement that local governments lack necessary resources to plan for biodiversity. A majority of the respondents mentioned geographical information systems (GIS) as an important tool to integrate knowledge about biodiversity in the planning process, and to evaluate likely consequences caused by deviations from current structure plans related to an efficient use of urban green spaces to maintain biodiversity. However, an evaluation of the answers revealed that the respondents had actually overestimated their capacity to implement the normative model. To conclude, the unanimous view was that planners were interested in the maintenance of biodiversity, but were limited by knowledge and by personnel lacking suitable qualifications, as well as by inadequate organisations. Only a minority of the respondents thought that local governments should have resources for biodiversity conservation planning. Finally, we discuss how the implementation of biodiversity policies could be improved by better integration of natural and social sciences in education and policy implementation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 75, no 1-2, 43-57 p.
Keyword [en]
biodiversity conservation, urban planning, policy implementation
National Category
Landscape Architecture Environmental Analysis and Construction Information Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-24992DOI: 10.1016/j.landurbanplan.2004.11.016ISI: 000234771600005ScopusID: 2-s2.0-29944435346OAI: diva2:354900
QC 20110201Available from: 2010-10-05 Created: 2010-10-05 Last updated: 2011-02-01Bibliographically approved

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