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Impacts of urban development on biodiversity and ecosystem services
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Land and Water Resources Engineering. (Environmental Management and Assessment Research Group)
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Land and Water Resources Engineering. (Environmental Management and Assessment Research Group)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2914-7538
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Land and Water Resources Engineering. (Environmental Management and Assessment Research Group)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1640-8946
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Land and Water Resources Engineering. (Environmental Management and Assessment Research Group)
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2016 (English)In: Handbook on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Impact Assessment / [ed] Davide Geneletti, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2016, 167-194 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Global urbanization has increased rapidly and it is expected to continue. Due to the continuing urbanization process, green areas are transformed into areas for housing, industry and infrastructure. As a consequence, ecosystems in urbanizing areas are affected, which results in degradation of habitats, due to fragmentation and disturbances, with significant impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services. In cities, green areas are of primary interest to support biodiversity as well as in their role as producers of ecosystem services; that is, services that ecosystems produce to the benefit of humans often without any costs. In addition, publicly accessible urban green areas enhance life quality for urban citizens. To strengthen biodiversity and ecosystem services considerations in the planning process and contribute to the preservation of biodiversity in the long term, a consistent assessment of potential impacts is required. In particular, a landscape approach in urban planning and assessment is needed to address the scales of ecological processes, to strengthen important landscape structures and functions in urban, regional and infrastructure planning. A landscape approach calls for methods for assessing the impacts of human actions on biodiversity at a landscape level, across administrative borders. Such methods should allow an analysis of cumulative impacts of many single planning decisions. Several of the processes involved have a temporal and spatial dimension and are possible to quantify, analyse, and visualize with geographical information systems (GIS) combined with spatial ecological models. This allows for localization and quantification of predicted effects of urbanization on biodiversity components over landscape and regional scales. This chapter addresses impacts of urbanization on biodiversity and urban green areas’ capacity in providing ecosystem services. A brief description of the role of biodiversity and ecosystem services provides a framework for a landscape approach in biodiversity assessments and for the practical examples from the Stockholm region. Related to the assessment, tools for predicting and assessing biodiversity impacts at a landscape level will be discussed as well as planning and management of urban green areas. The chapter concludes with lessons learned and key recommendations for best practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Edward Elgar Publishing, 2016. 167-194 p.
National Category
Environmental Management
Research subject
Land and Water Resources Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-168004DOI: 10.4337/9781783478996.00014ISBN: 9781783478989 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-168004DiVA: diva2:813819
Funder
Swedish Research Council FormasStandUp
Note

Accepted QP 201505

Available from: 2015-05-25 Created: 2015-05-25 Last updated: 2017-07-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Beyond impacts: Contextualizing strategic environmental assessment to foster the inclusion of multiple values in strategic planning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Beyond impacts: Contextualizing strategic environmental assessment to foster the inclusion of multiple values in strategic planning
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) has the potential to improve strategic planning. However, meeting this expectation is a major challenge since SEA practice still constraints itself to assess the impacts of strategic planning initiatives. To advance the role of SEA beyond impact assessment, it has been argued that SEA needs to adapt to strategic planning contexts. Yet, there is a lack of consensus on how SEA should adapt to strategic planning contexts as these are complex, vary considerably and carry high levels of uncertainty. Against this background, the aim of this thesis is to contribute to the development of SEA by creating knowledge on ways in which it can be contextualized to different strategic planning situations. Three case studies addressing different values and strategic planning contexts were designed from which experiences on SEA conceptualization were drawn. The results show that developing strategic focused SEA frameworks that enhance dialogue, collaboration and knowledge generation on multiple values can address issues such as: the lack of data and objectives in developing planning contexts; gaps in knowledge and uncertainty associated to environmental monitoring in transboundary contexts; and the recognition of the importance of ecosystem services and their needed green qualities in urbanizing contexts. Based on the gained case study experiences, it is argued that SEA contextualization can mean addressing strategic planning intentions, identifying and engaging actors, deriving and prioritizing key values, collaborating to generate knowledge on key issues, and using this knowledge to shape strategic planning. Due to the complexity of the issues involved, contextualizing SEA is considered to be challenging to achieve and requires time and resources. However, based on the SEA case studies, it can be argued that the value added to strategic planning outweighs these requirements. Continuing to study the practice of context adaptable, strategic focused and participatory based SEA processes may contribute to advance SEA’s role beyond impact assessment and enable reaching its expected potentials.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2015. viii, 44 p.
Series
TRITA-LWR. PHD, ISSN 1650-8602 ; 2015:02
Keyword
Strategic environmental assessment; Context; Values; Strategic planning; Participation; Ecosystem services; Monitoring
National Category
Environmental Management
Research subject
Planning and Decision Analysis
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-167968 (URN)978-91-7595-623-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-06-12, D3, Lindstedtsvägen 5, KTH, Stockholm, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20150525

Available from: 2015-05-25 Created: 2015-05-22 Last updated: 2015-05-25Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttp://www.elgaronline.com/view/9781783478989.00014.xml

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Azcarate, JuanMörtberg, Ulla

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