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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2007

Olga Christopoulou, Serafeim Polyzos and Dionissios Minetos

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the importance of peri‐urban forests to the process of urban growth. The article aims at providing a brief description of peri…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the importance of peri‐urban forests to the process of urban growth. The article aims at providing a brief description of peri‐urban forests' contribution to the improvement of people's prosperity in urban centres by means of reducing the negative effects due to urbanisation and improving the standard of living. Design/methodology/approach – The article adopts a descriptive approach and not a specific methodology. It focuses on providing a general review about the usefulness of peri‐urban forests in relation to urban development. In addition, there are presented figures about the number of peri‐urban forests in Greece as well as forest management issues. Findings – The environmental importance of peri‐urban forests is highlighted as well as their contribution to the reduction of soil erosion and the protection of inhabited areas. It also presents their importance to social growth and to the change in land prices in areas adjacent to peri‐urban forests. Practical implications – The appointment of the usefulness of peri‐urban forests for the improvement of the standard of living in urban regions can influence peri‐urban forests' preservation and protection perspectives. Originality/value – This paper provides a general review of the points of view concerning the importance of peri‐urban forests for urban development and the difficulties in managing and protecting them related to administrative and institutional issues in Greece.

Details

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

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Article
Publication date: 16 August 2019

Zheng Zhao and Yali Wen

The purpose of this paper is to measure the influence factors of their preferences for urban forest, marginal values of various properties and relative values of different…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to measure the influence factors of their preferences for urban forest, marginal values of various properties and relative values of different scheme portfolios, thus arriving indirectly at the city residents’ demand for urban forest improvement.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper, based on the data from the 2015–2017 field survey questionnaire of city residents over the radius of Beijing’s 5th Ring Road, uses the choice experiment method (CEM) to conduct a study of its residents’ demand for urban forest.

Findings

Beijing’s city residents are generally inclined to accept a relatively low payment of urban forest while hoping to access a relatively high urban afforestation coverage with the construction of relatively many city parks, especially focusing on the specialized park management; the marginal values of biodiversity and greenery coverage are far higher than those of greenbelts in quantity and the maximum marginal value of biodiversity remains as high as RMB29.42, indicating that the city residents do not favor much the number of greenbelts over other aspects but they generally hope to achieve a higher greenery coverage and a richer biodiversity.

Research limitations/implications

Generally speaking, what Beijing City needs most is not continuing the increase in the number of greenbelts, but engaging in the rational retrofit of its existing greenbelts and optimizing its urban forest structure.

Originality/value

This paper may provide reference for determining the city residents’ payment criteria for urban forest and will be of equally great significance to developing cities and their urban forest.

Details

Forestry Economics Review, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2631-3030

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Article
Publication date: 4 July 2016

Cecil C. Konijnendijk van den Bosch

The role of urban forests and urban trees in creating vibrant and resilient cities is widely recognised. Urban forest governance as the strategic decision and rule making…

Abstract

Purpose

The role of urban forests and urban trees in creating vibrant and resilient cities is widely recognised. Urban forest governance as the strategic decision and rule making for urban tree resources is no longer solely the domain of governmental actors, but occurs rather often as network governance also involving businesses and civic society. However, governance theory usually does not consider the role of non-human agency, which can be considered problematic due to, for example, the important role of urban trees in place making. The purpose of this paper is to provide further insight into the importance of considering tree agency in governance.

Design/methodology/approach

Taking an environmental governance and actor network theory perspective, the paper presents a critical view of current urban forest governance, extending the perspective to include not only a wide range of human actors, but also trees as important non-human actors.

Findings

Urban forest governance has become more complex and involves a greater range of actors and actor networks. However, the agency of trees in urban forest governance is seldom well developed. Trees, in close association with local residents, create places, something which needs to be better recognised in governance. Case studies show that this type of non-reflexive agency of urban trees often has emerged in the case of acute threats to urban trees or woodlands. New approaches such as those of biophilic urbanism and biocultural diversity can assist with better integration of tree agency in governance.

Originality/value

Urban forest governance is an emerging field of research which has seldom addressed tree agency. Thus the perspective on urban forest governance is enriched, beyond the dominant post-neoliberal and anthropocentric perspective.

Details

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6099

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Article
Publication date: 12 April 2013

Vesa Yli‐Pelkonen

Land‐use and cover change threatens remaining urban green areas and the provision of ecosystem services. The purpose of this paper is to address the importance…

Abstract

Purpose

Land‐use and cover change threatens remaining urban green areas and the provision of ecosystem services. The purpose of this paper is to address the importance, sufficiency and needs of local recreational ecosystem services in urban areas.

Design/methodology/approach

The case study area is the City of Helsinki, Finland. In total, 30 key informants representing 19 neighbourhood associations in the urban‐rural gradient within the city were interviewed.

Findings

The results of the Helsinki case show that residents visit the focused nature areas frequently and spend considerable amount of time there. All the mentioned activities during visits were associated with getting recreational experiences. Of these the most frequently mentioned were getting “feel‐good feeling” and physical exercise, which were closely associated with walking and sports‐like activities. The importance of easy accessibility to local nature areas was emphasized. Recreational ecosystem services partly result from specific landscape features in the nature area and from biologically diverse nature.

Practical implications

Planners, managers and decision makers can use the findings from this study in determining the values of similar urban green areas in urban development.

Originality/value

The Helsinki case shows that these local nature areas are appreciated and attractive and that the residents of the focused study areas perceive the numerous benefits that the local nature areas provide as very important. It appears that conserving a considerable amount of remnant nature amongst urban housing has paid off in flourishing recreational ecosystem services in the studied area.

Details

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

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Book part
Publication date: 25 July 2016

Luca Salvati

The present study assesses the morphological transition and the consequent changes in the use of land observed recently in southern Europe. We analysed the spatial…

Abstract

The present study assesses the morphological transition and the consequent changes in the use of land observed recently in southern Europe. We analysed the spatial distribution of basic land-use classes (built-up areas, cropland, forests) together with demographic and socioeconomic indicators with the aim to evaluate the differential impact of compact urban expansion and dispersed urbanization on peri-urban farming. Alternating distinct expansion waves over the last 50 years, Athens’ metropolitan region, Greece, was selected as the case study. Although per-capita built-up area was higher in the ‘dispersed’ urban wave compared with the ‘compact’ wave, cropland was the most vulnerable class to urbanization. A high rate of conversion from forests to cropland (in turn abandoned and, finally, developed) was observed since the early 1990s. This process is associated to land fragmentation and soil degradation driven by illegal housing and real estate speculation. Land-use changes are a target for policies mitigating soil consumption and promoting peri-urban agriculture on Mediterranean fringe land.

Details

Metropolitan Ruralities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-796-7

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Book part
Publication date: 17 October 2015

Juli Ponce, Alexandre Peñalver, Oscar Capdeferro and Lloyd Burton

The law of catastrophic wildfire prevention and response in the Mediterranean member states of the European Union stands in stark contrast to that of common law nation…

Abstract

The law of catastrophic wildfire prevention and response in the Mediterranean member states of the European Union stands in stark contrast to that of common law nation states such as Australia and the United States. This is due primarily to the higher levels of reciprocal moral and legal obligations between governments and citizens established in various sources of European law. Focusing on the relationship between the EU, Spain, and the Autonomous Community of Catalonia within Spain, this chapter describes these three legal frameworks as they are nested within each other, followed by some case law examples of these laws in action. We compare and contrast the philosophical assumptions underlying the utilitarian cost–benefit approach to regulatory justification used in the United States with the precautionary principle model emblematic of the European Union, the member state of Spain, and its Autonomous Community of Catalonia. Regardless of approach, protection of the public health, safety, and welfare will only be as robust and effective as the government agencies that have that responsibility, and the degree of cooperation with those agencies of the citizens they serve.

Details

Special Issue Cassandra’s Curse: The Law and Foreseeable Future Disasters
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-299-3

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Book part
Publication date: 5 November 2021

Sarai Pouso and Erik Gómez-Baggethun

While concentration of population in urban areas continues, limited contact with ecological dynamics undermines awareness on human dependence on ecosystems. However…

Abstract

While concentration of population in urban areas continues, limited contact with ecological dynamics undermines awareness on human dependence on ecosystems. However, demands on ecosystems have never been higher than in today's urbanized planet, and cities make major contributions to global environmental problems. Enhancing green and blue infrastructure (GBI) in cities can reduce the ecological footprints of cities, while enhancing urban resilience and quality of life for their inhabitants. Urban GBIs provide multiple benefits to people in the form of ecosystem services (ES) and hold potential for providing nature-based solutions (NBS) to address urban challenges.

To adequately evaluate the ES provided by GBI, researchers have recently advocated integrated valuations. Integrated valuations aim at overcoming the limitations of the traditional single discipline and narrow approaches, by considering the multiple ways in which humans benefit from nature across the economic social and cultural domains.

In this chapter, we present examples of integrated valuations of ES in two Spanish cities, Barcelona and Bilbao. Both examples combine different valuation techniques and metrics, both monetary and nonmonetary, to account for the ES provided by urban GBIs and to assess their potential as NBS.

Our case examples show that urban GBIs provide many valuable benefits to urban dwellers. One of the clearest outcomes from these infrastructures is cultural ES, especially the multiple recreation and leisure opportunities they provide, which in turn has a remarkable positive effect on human health and well-being.

Details

Nature-Based Solutions for More Sustainable Cities – A Framework Approach for Planning and Evaluation
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-637-4

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Book part
Publication date: 5 November 2021

Wendy Y. Chen, Cheng Wang and Jiali Jin

Even though following the laws of nature to construct harmonious nature–human interactions has long been one of the most influential philosophies in Chinese history…

Abstract

Even though following the laws of nature to construct harmonious nature–human interactions has long been one of the most influential philosophies in Chinese history, nature-based solutions (NBS), an innovative concept referring to the sustainable utilization of nature in solving various social and environmental challenges facing contemporary societies, can hardly be found in research papers and practices in Chinese context until very recently. Yet, some NBS features, and also NBS thinking, have already been successfully embedded within many environmental management decisions and practices, which are commonly characterized by (1) prioritization of nature preservation/restoration to economic activities and (2) functionalization of nature as a countermeasure to environmental and/or social issues. This chapter will present a comprehensive overview of the Beijing Afforestation Scheme, an exemplar case of NBS in the Chinese context. Starting from a description of Beijing and this massive afforestation project, it delineates major characteristics of this NBS, signified by (1) a shift from outcome-driven to integrated ecological resilience, (2) a change from recreating tree rows to restoring natural boreal forest, and (3) an evolution from top-down to adaptive and inclusive governance. Lastly, lessons learnt and future challenges are discussed.

Details

Nature-Based Solutions for More Sustainable Cities – A Framework Approach for Planning and Evaluation
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-637-4

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Book part
Publication date: 5 November 2021

Raúl Sánchez Francés, Silvia Gómez Valle, Nuria García Rueda, Benedetta Lucchitta and Edoardo Croci

Nature-based solutions (NBS) generate different impacts at the urban scale, such as the ability to regulate water or store carbon, comparable to traditional, gray…

Abstract

Nature-based solutions (NBS) generate different impacts at the urban scale, such as the ability to regulate water or store carbon, comparable to traditional, gray infrastructures in a more cost-efficient way. On the other hand, by their intrinsic nature, NBS do deliver a series of other services that are commonly defined as social, economic, and environmental cobenefits. These benefits are not always valued in a consistent and complete way, so there is the need to compile a more comprehensive evidence base on the social, economic, and environmental effectiveness of NBS. The chapter attempts to identify a categorization of the existing NBS and define the ecosystem services (ES) provided by them. Furthermore, starting from the results achieved through the definition of the existing NBS frameworks assessment, the chapter will identify a set of key performance indicators KPIs, based on the ES produced by NBS, to measure the economic, social, and environmental benefits generated in by NBS at the urban level taking into account their multifunctional character. In total, 66 key performance indicators have been individuated: 3 for provisioning services, 38 for regulating services, 17 for cultural services, and 8 for supporting services. Each indicator has been associated to a category of ES in order to measure and evaluate the performances of NBS implemented in cities.

Details

Nature-Based Solutions for More Sustainable Cities – A Framework Approach for Planning and Evaluation
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-637-4

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Article
Publication date: 16 May 2016

Gabriel Victor Aves Caballero

The purpose of this paper is to explore possible contributions of natural resources for the historic urban landscape (HUL) approach. It points to several possible avenues…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore possible contributions of natural resources for the historic urban landscape (HUL) approach. It points to several possible avenues for collaborative research, which can expand the discourse on the topic of urban sustainability with different disciplines of heritage studies, natural resource management, urban planning and disaster risk reduction.

Design/methodology/approach

There are already several UNESCO initiatives such as the Man and Biosphere Programme, World Heritage Forests Programme and the World Heritage Programme for Small Island Developing States, which the HUL approach can learn from to understand approaches that integrate natural resource management in urban planning methods. Different cases from the USA, Japan and Singapore applying landscape approaches have also been documented in this research.

Findings

Several examples have been found in which natural resources are integrated to bigger strategies of urban planning. Japan has enacted the “Landscape Law” in 2004 to highlight the importance of preserving landscapes in improving the quality and viability of community life. The “Mauritius Strategy” created by small island developing states is another example. It holistically looks at policies to deal with environmental challenges while advocating economic growth and protecting cultural and natural heritage, among other concerns. The long tradition of creating greenways in the USA have also contributed in presenting heritage assets and providing environmental benefits. The High Line in New York City is a good example of this.

Originality/value

In line with the HUL approach, the research points out possibilities of non-traditional collaborations in solving current urban challenges. Finding ways of linking natural resources to a bigger urban framework can inspire new solutions for the interlinked problems of urban growth, heritage management and nature conservation amidst climate change.

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