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Challenges and opportunities for governing ecosystem services in an urban world: A systematic review and synthesis
Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Governance of ecosystem services for an urban population is an issue that is of global concern as people all over the world are moving into cities, and cities are also drawing on ecosystem services from all over the world. Efforts in science and policy have however been lagging behind in understanding and responding to the complex relationship between urbanisation and ecosystem services. To assess the state of the art in the scientific literature regarding governance of urban ecosystem services, a methodology for systematic review and qualitative synthesis was designed and applied drawing on the experiences from health science and grounded theory. The approach was found to be useful in handling a large and diverse body of information and categorizing the main challenges and opportunities in governance of urban ecosystem services found in the literature. The results suggest that challenges can broadly be related to lack of knowledge, equity, lack of institutional capacity, conflicting views among stakeholders, and finally, decision makers often prioritizing economic growth over ecosystem services (ES) provision. Two over-arching challenges found are related to scale mismatch and trade-offs, suggesting that governance of ES should be considered in terms of its effects on different temporal and spatial scales, associated trade-offs, also in terms of beneficiaries. The main opportunities identified relate to planning and management – principles, approaches and tools, civil society as a source of knowledge and management capacity, participatory learning processes, leadership and ecological citizenship. Research and governance need to recognize how urban societies influence and depend upon ecosystem processes and to strengthen the evidence base for urban ES governance. This is the first time a systematic review and synthesis has been performed addressing this topic. It aims to support the emerging discipline of urban ecology, and policy by informing the Cities and Biodiversity Outlook.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 106 p.
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-78527OAI: diva2:541058
Life Earth Science
Available from: 2012-07-13 Created: 2012-07-13 Last updated: 2012-09-17Bibliographically approved

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