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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2015

Scale-sensitive integration of ecosystem services in urban planning

Faehnle, Maija; Soderman, Tarja; Schulman, Harry; Lehvavirta, Susanna


Maintaining green infrastructure as a source of ecosystem services is a key challenge for sustainability of urban regions. In order to support sustainable service provision, planning of this infrastructure needs to consider complex ecological and social processes operating in different timescales and varying spatially within a region. However, such scalar approaches to planning have been rare. This article addresses ways to improve scale-sensitivity in planning of urban green infrastructure, with a focus on holistic considerations of conditions for sustainable reproduction of benefits from ecosystem services. Based on information from the literature, we develop a spatially sensitized conceptual framework for addressing provision of ecosystem services in urban regions. Wediscuss the application of spatially sensitized scalar approaches from the perspectives of scale dimensions, an area, a service, and a green infrastructure element. We conclude that spatially sensitized scalar frameworks hold promise for addressing the provision of ecosystem services as part of planning for urban sustainability. Research on production of scales in various contexts would further enhance their usability.


Green space; Scaling; Spatial planning; Sustainable cities

Published in

2015, Volume: 80, number: 3, pages: 411-425
Publisher: SPRINGER

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Landscape Architecture
    Human Geography

    Publication Identifiers


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