Bottom-up thinking—Identifying socio-cultural values of ecosystem services in local blue–green infrastructure planning in Helsinki, Finland

Kati Hannele Vierikko, Jari Kalevi Niemelä

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Sustainable urban storm-water management is a key policy of the European Union. Increasing populations, densification and global climate change cause major challenges for the management of urban run-off waters. Small urban aquatic ecosystems (ponds, brooks, wetlands) are important, because they
support human health and well-being through water regulation, mitigating urban run-off waters and providing recreational benefits. Ecosystem functions, which arise from interactions between biotic and abiotic processes and which benefit society, are called ecosystem services. The ecosystem service concept
can be useful in estimating the impacts of land-use and resource management on ecosystem functions, and to support decision-making. However, many researchers claim that measuring or valuing ecosystem services in land-use planning may fail to recognize intangible or non-monetary values. We studied a
local environmental conflict related to a storm-water management plan in Helsinki, Finland. By using integrated value mapping of ecosystem services, we assigned socio-cultural values of local blue-green infrastructure, and evaluated how these values could be taken into account at the early stage in green
area planning. Stakeholders (locals, managers and politicians) expressed a total of 47 perceived values related to the urban brook and the public park. We divided these values into four types: (1) use and experience, (2) existence, (3) symbolic, and (4) bequest and moral. We show great differences between the
meanings and values of locals, managers and politicians. Managers expressed negative values towards the park, while locals more commonly expressed symbolic values. Exhaustive value mapping could help to identify mutual values and understand disagreements between stakeholders. We introduced a model
for a transdisciplinary adaptive planning by using integrated value mapping within ecosystem service concept. Often local protests towards development projects or the management of green areas are seen in a negative light by considering them as NIMBY. Instead of dismissing plurality of meanings and values that emerge from strong place identity, we call for the sustainable management of place-attached values as part of a techno-economic planning strategy of urban ecosystems.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLand Use Policy
Volume50
Pages (from-to)537-547
Number of pages10
ISSN0264-8377
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 1172 Environmental sciences
  • Ecosystem services
  • Integrated value mapping
  • Socio-ecological
  • Urban streams
  • value plurality

Cite this

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title = "Bottom-up thinking—Identifying socio-cultural values of ecosystem services in local blue–green infrastructure planning in Helsinki, Finland",
abstract = "Sustainable urban storm-water management is a key policy of the European Union. Increasing populations, densification and global climate change cause major challenges for the management of urban run-off waters. Small urban aquatic ecosystems (ponds, brooks, wetlands) are important, because theysupport human health and well-being through water regulation, mitigating urban run-off waters and providing recreational benefits. Ecosystem functions, which arise from interactions between biotic and abiotic processes and which benefit society, are called ecosystem services. The ecosystem service conceptcan be useful in estimating the impacts of land-use and resource management on ecosystem functions, and to support decision-making. However, many researchers claim that measuring or valuing ecosystem services in land-use planning may fail to recognize intangible or non-monetary values. We studied alocal environmental conflict related to a storm-water management plan in Helsinki, Finland. By using integrated value mapping of ecosystem services, we assigned socio-cultural values of local blue-green infrastructure, and evaluated how these values could be taken into account at the early stage in greenarea planning. Stakeholders (locals, managers and politicians) expressed a total of 47 perceived values related to the urban brook and the public park. We divided these values into four types: (1) use and experience, (2) existence, (3) symbolic, and (4) bequest and moral. We show great differences between themeanings and values of locals, managers and politicians. Managers expressed negative values towards the park, while locals more commonly expressed symbolic values. Exhaustive value mapping could help to identify mutual values and understand disagreements between stakeholders. We introduced a modelfor a transdisciplinary adaptive planning by using integrated value mapping within ecosystem service concept. Often local protests towards development projects or the management of green areas are seen in a negative light by considering them as NIMBY. Instead of dismissing plurality of meanings and values that emerge from strong place identity, we call for the sustainable management of place-attached values as part of a techno-economic planning strategy of urban ecosystems.",
keywords = "1172 Environmental sciences, Ecosystem services, Integrated value mapping, Socio-ecological, Urban streams, value plurality",
author = "Vierikko, {Kati Hannele} and Niemel{\"a}, {Jari Kalevi}",
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Bottom-up thinking—Identifying socio-cultural values of ecosystem services in local blue–green infrastructure planning in Helsinki, Finland. / Vierikko, Kati Hannele; Niemelä, Jari Kalevi.

In: Land Use Policy, Vol. 50, 01.2016, p. 537-547.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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AB - Sustainable urban storm-water management is a key policy of the European Union. Increasing populations, densification and global climate change cause major challenges for the management of urban run-off waters. Small urban aquatic ecosystems (ponds, brooks, wetlands) are important, because theysupport human health and well-being through water regulation, mitigating urban run-off waters and providing recreational benefits. Ecosystem functions, which arise from interactions between biotic and abiotic processes and which benefit society, are called ecosystem services. The ecosystem service conceptcan be useful in estimating the impacts of land-use and resource management on ecosystem functions, and to support decision-making. However, many researchers claim that measuring or valuing ecosystem services in land-use planning may fail to recognize intangible or non-monetary values. We studied alocal environmental conflict related to a storm-water management plan in Helsinki, Finland. By using integrated value mapping of ecosystem services, we assigned socio-cultural values of local blue-green infrastructure, and evaluated how these values could be taken into account at the early stage in greenarea planning. Stakeholders (locals, managers and politicians) expressed a total of 47 perceived values related to the urban brook and the public park. We divided these values into four types: (1) use and experience, (2) existence, (3) symbolic, and (4) bequest and moral. We show great differences between themeanings and values of locals, managers and politicians. Managers expressed negative values towards the park, while locals more commonly expressed symbolic values. Exhaustive value mapping could help to identify mutual values and understand disagreements between stakeholders. We introduced a modelfor a transdisciplinary adaptive planning by using integrated value mapping within ecosystem service concept. Often local protests towards development projects or the management of green areas are seen in a negative light by considering them as NIMBY. Instead of dismissing plurality of meanings and values that emerge from strong place identity, we call for the sustainable management of place-attached values as part of a techno-economic planning strategy of urban ecosystems.

KW - 1172 Environmental sciences

KW - Ecosystem services

KW - Integrated value mapping

KW - Socio-ecological

KW - Urban streams

KW - value plurality

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DO - 10.1016/j.landusepol.2015.09.031

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JO - Land Use Policy

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SN - 0264-8377

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