Urban Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Preferences, subjective well-being and public perception

Today, cities are facing enormous challenges resulting from global change, e.g. in the climate system. Ecosystems provide flexibility in urban landscapes and help build adaptive capacity to cope with such challenges as, for example, the increased risk of heat waves and flooding. However, systematic knowledge about the links between urban biodiversity, ecosystem services and human well-being is still largely missing. Moreover, urban ecosystem services are generally not priced on markets and thus usually under-provided by market forces. In order to reconcile the sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services in urban areas with an ever growing demand for land use, the ecological, socio-cultural and monetary values of ecosystem services need to be fully incorporated into decision making processes.

The aim of the URBES project is to (1) analyze the role of urban biodiversity and ecosystem services for human well-being, (2) to quantify and value their contribution to human well-being, and (3) to give policy advice for sustainable long-term urban land-use management.

Laufzeit:     2012-2015
Funding:     German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF); URBES is part of the BiodivERsA initiative within the European Union’s 7th Framework Program for Research and Technological Development (FP7-ERA-NET).
Partners:     The Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics; Drift - Dutch Research Institute for Transition, Rotterdam; Erasmus University Rotterdam; Humboldt University Berlin; ICLEI, Bonn; icta - Institute of Science and Technology, Barcelona; IUCN - International Union for Conversation of Nature; Mistra Urban Futures, Gothenburg; Stockholm Resilience Centre; Stockholm University; TUM Technische Universität München; Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona; Salzburg University; University of Helsinki; The New School, New York
Contact:     Prof. Dr. Katrin Rehdanz and Dr. Christine Bertram (IfW)