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Patterns and challenges of urban nature conservation - a study of southern Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
2009 (English)In: Environment and planning A, ISSN 0308-518X, E-ISSN 1472-3409, Vol. 41, no 11, 2671-2685 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The current, dominating strategy of nature conservation within urban landscapes is to formally protect remaining patches of unexploited nature in nature reserves. However, integration of nature conservation frameworks into urban planning requires reconsideration of key issues, such as why, where, and how to protect nature in a purposeful way. As part of that process I statistically evaluate current nature conservation in 209 municipalities in southern Sweden by analysing the number, size, age, and land cover patterns of 1869 nature reserves in relation to the degree of urbanisation. The analyses reveal that in urban municipalities the nature reserves are fewer, but larger, and have a higher diversity of land covers. Having large nature reserves may be especially important in urban landscapes, since it is often highly fragmented. The land cover compositions show no differences between urban and rural nature reserves. However, urban nature reserves differ more from their surroundings compared with rural nature reserves, according to the identified changes in representation of land cover types with an increasing degree of urbanisation. The most urgent future challenge identified is to develop urban nature conservation strategies that are integrated into the urban context including other green areas and built-up areas, the land-use history, and the requirements for local ecosystem services across the landscape.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 41, no 11, 2671-2685 p.
National Category
Natural Sciences
Research subject
Natural Resources Management
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-32682DOI: 10.1068/a41312ISI: 000272493400010OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-32682DiVA: diva2:281354
Available from: 2009-12-15 Created: 2009-12-15 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Urban shades of green: Current patterns and future prospects of nature conservation in urban landscapes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Urban shades of green: Current patterns and future prospects of nature conservation in urban landscapes
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Urban nature provides local ecosystem services such as absorption of air pollutants, reduction of noise, and provision of places for recreation, and is therefore crucial to urban sustainable development. Nature conservation in cities is also part of the global effort to halt biodiversity decline. Urban landscapes, however, display     distinguishing social and ecological characteristics and therefore the implementation of nature conservation frameworks into cities, requires reconsideration of what nature to preserve, for whom and where. The aim of this thesis was to examine the current urban nature conservation with special focus on formally protected areas, and discuss their future role in the urban landscape. A social-ecological systems approach was used as framework and both quantitative and qualitative methods were applied. The studies were performed at local to regional scales in the southern part of Sweden. Four key questions were addressed: i) What are the characteristics of nature conservation in urban landscapes? ii) How does establishment of nature conservation areas affect the surrounding urban landscape? iii) In what ways are spatial and temporal scales recognized in practical management of nature conservation areas? and iv) How can the dichotomy of built up and nature conservation areas be overcome in urban planning? Nature reserves in urban, compared to rural landscapes were in general fewer, but larger and included a higher diversity of land covers. They were also based on a higher number and different kinds of objectives than rural nature reserves. Urbanisation adjacent to nature reserves followed the general urbanisation patterns in the cities and no additional increase in urban settlements could be detected. In general, there was a lack of social and ecological linkages between the nature conservation areas and the urban landscape and practical management showed a limited recognition of cross-scale interactions and meso-scales. Such conceptual and physical isolation risks decreasing the public support for nature conservation, cause biodiversity decline, and hence impact the generation of ecosystem services. A major future challenge is therefore to transform current conservation strategies to become a tool where urban nature is perceived, planned and managed as valuable and integrated parts of the city. To enable social-ecological synergies, future urban planning should address proactive approaches together with key components like active enhancement of multifunctional landscapes, cross-scale strategies and border zone management.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University, 2011. 59 p.
Keyword
urbanisation, nature conservation, urban planning, urban systems, nature reserves, Sweden
National Category
Natural Sciences
Research subject
Natural Resources Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-46150 (URN)978-91-7447-194-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-02-04, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Manuscript. Paper 3: Submitted. Paper 5: Manuscript.Available from: 2011-01-13 Created: 2010-11-22 Last updated: 2011-01-14Bibliographically approved

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