Knowledge-based green infrastructure and ecosystem services

Mina Di Marino, Maija Tiitu, Kimmo Lapintie

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractScientific

Abstract

The paper focuses on the urban growth of cities and regions, particularly with reference to the potential conflicts between changing land-use, Green Infrastructure (GI) and Ecosystem Services (ES). Recently, GI has been defined as an ecological and spatial concept for promoting ecosystem health and resilience, contributing to biodiversity conservation, and benefiting humans by promoting the delivery of ES. ES can be categorized as providing services, supporting services, regulating services and cultural services. In spite of the existing research carried out around the world, the value of GI and benefits from the ES are still unknown for a large group of experts and non-experts. The knowledge gap on GI and ES concepts within the land-use planning and data gathering still seems a problem that pervade planning in cities. The aim of the study is to explore the discourse formation on GI and ES that are potentially endangered in the urban contexts.
The paper draws on the planning theory and practice that existing knowledge does not automatically inform planning practice. Practically, the challenge is to understand how planning could be made more informed while retaining its special nature in creating visual and discourse formations. We need to understand how planning practitioners, policy makers and other stakeholders participate in gathering and constructing knowledge that is used in dialogues between them, fostering legitimacy of the political and planning process.
As case studies, the paper presents the Helsinki Uusimaa Region and the City of Järvenpää. The Helsinki Uusimaa Region consists of 26 municipalities and populated by 1.6 million inhabitants. The City of Järvenpää is located in the Central Uusimaa Region (35 km far away from Helsinki) and populated by 41,000 inhabitants. In both cases, wide spectrum of GIS data, spatial classifications and GIS analyses for assessing GI and ES have been already commissioned and provided by the Finnish Environment Institute. In addition to the literature review on GI and ES concepts, the research methods used are, the critical discourse analysis of planning documents from the Helsinki Uusimaa Region and from the City of Järvenpää, in-depth interviews to regional and local authorities as well as city planners involved in the planning process.
Findings from the literature show that, despite the comprehensive knowledge of all categories of ES, the supporting and cultural services are still dominating the field of regional and urban planning. Furthermore, studies on classification of GI according to their accessibility and visitability and usability (adding the concept of public and private) are still relatively scarce.
The preliminary results from the planning documents show that the Helsinki Uusimaa Council hasintroduced GI and ES approaches in the regional policies, however, the planning strategies are still too abstract. The City of Järvenpää has recently started developing the new master plan. Thus, this study will present the results from the depth-interviews that will be conducted within the next months. The questions will be related to, several topics, such as the effective use of the collected data on GI and ES and the development of the two concepts in the planning practices. The discussion moves to the possibility to help planners and policy makers to deal with this new challenge.The collected multi-method data (qualitative and quantitative) can support the current gap in knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2017
MoE publication typeNot Eligible
EventAESOP Annual Congress: Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity: Fostering the European Dimension of Planning - Lisbon Institute of Technology, Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 11 Jul 201714 Jul 2017
Conference number: 30
http://aesop2017.pt/

Conference

ConferenceAESOP Annual Congress
Abbreviated titleAESOP
CountryPortugal
CityLisbon
Period11/07/201714/07/2017
Internet address

Keywords

  • ecosystem services
  • green infrastructure
  • knowledge management
  • urban planning

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