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A typology for urban Green Infrastructure, to guide multifunctional planning of nature-based solutions

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  • Laurence M. Jones, Lancaster University, Liverpool Hope University
  • ,
  • Sally Dean Anderson
  • Jeppe Læssøe
  • Ellen Banzhaf, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung GmbH (UFZ)
  • ,
  • Anne Jensen
  • David Neil Bird, Joanneum Res, Austria
  • James Miller, UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Denmark
  • Michael Hutchins, UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, United Kingdom
  • Jun Yang, Tsinghua University
  • ,
  • Joanne Garrett, University of Exeter, United Kingdom
  • Tim Taylor, University of Exeter, United Kingdom
  • Benedict W Wheeler, University of Exeter, United Kingdom
  • Rebecca Lovell, University of Exeter
  • ,
  • David Fletcher, Lancaster University
  • ,
  • Yueming Qu, UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Germany
  • Massimo Vieno, UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, United Kingdom
  • Marianne Zandersen
Urban Green Infrastructure (GI) provides multiple benefits to city inhabitants and can be an important component in nature-based solutions (NBS), but the ecosystem services that underpin those benefits are inconsistently quantified in the literature. There remain substantial knowledge gaps about the level of service supported by less studied GI types, e.g. cemeteries, or less-studied ecosystem services, e.g. noise mitigation. Decision-makers and planners in cities often face conflicting or incomplete information on the effectiveness of GI, particularly on their ability to provide a suite of co-benefits. Here, we describe a feature-based typology of GI which combines elements of land cover, land use and both ecological and social function. It is consistent with user requirements on mapping, and with the needs of models which can conduct more detailed ecosystem service assessments which can guide NBS design. We provide an evidence synthesis based on published literature, which scores the ability of each GI type to deliver a suite of ecosystem services. In the multivariate analysis of the typology scores, the main axis of variation differentiates between constructed (or hybrid) GI types designed primarily for water flow management (delivering relatively few services) and more natural green GI with trees, or blue GI such as lakes and the sea, which deliver a more multi-functional set of regulating services. The most multi-functional GI on this axis also score highest for biodiversity. The second element of variation separates those GI which support very few cultural services and those which score highly in enabling physical wellbeing and social interaction and, to a lesser extent, restoring capacities. Together the typology and multi-functionality matrix provide a much needed assessment for less studied GI types, and allow planners and decision-makers to make a-priori assessments of the relative ability of different GI as part of NBS to address urban challenges.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100041
JournalNature-based Solutions
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022

    Research areas

  • nature-based solutions, green infrastructure, mapping modelling, well being, social interaction

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