Identifying, Quantifying and Qualifying Biocultural Diversity: Assessment of Biocultural Diversity

Kati Hannele Vierikko, Erik Andersson, Cristina Branquinho, Birgit Elands, Leonie K Fischer, Paula Goncalves, Filipa Grilo, Dagmar Haase, Cristian Ioja, Ingo Kowarik, Jasmina Micaela Lindgren, Raquel Mendes, Jari Kalevi Niemelä, Mari Pieniniemi, Adriana Principe, Mia Puttonen, Margarida Santos-Reis, Daniela Teixeira, Joana Vieira, Vesa Johannes Yli-Pelkonen

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportProfessional


This report is the final deliverable (D2.3) of WP2 of GREEN SURGE project (2013-2017) as a part of the EU FP7 (ENV.2013.6.2-5-603567). This research aims to illustrate how the Biocultural Diversity (BCD) concept can help urban practitioners, planners and decision-makers to understand the integration between biological diversity in Urban Green Infrastructure (UGI) and cultural specificities of the users or UGI. This work was based on three major research tasks : 1) development of a conceptual framework for addressing how residents value and interact with biodiversity and each other in urban regions; 2) use of a conceptual framework to assess components of UGI and how residents with different cultural backgrounds and socio-economic situations value and use UGI across European cities; and 3) development of a database and typology of BCD of UGI components as grounding knowledge for other parts of the project. The local case study researches of the project conducted the research by using the following quantitative and qualitative data sources and harvesting methods: census data, inventories, historical records, GIS land-use data, species records, species surveys, field interviews, field questionnaires, field observations, and cognitive studies. The overarching theme throughout the report is the typology of BCD conceptualized into three interlinked aspects: tangible, lived and stewardship. The core idea is that there is an innate connection between biological and cultural diversity. Regarding tangible BCD our research showed that European cities can be rather diverse in terms of species living in cities and we found a positive trend between species richness and park area, with larger parks holding higher number of species (birds, butterflies, invertebrates, lichens, plants). Regarding lived BCD, we found that the perceived biodiversity of park users seems to be more related to the overall quality of the green space than to existing biodiversity. Moreover, small pocket parks in a compact city can contribute to social cohesion, but are most likely too small for rich nature experiences or supporting biodiversity. Furthermore, although parks often manifest community cohesion and identity of the neighbourhood, they are not intrinsically social meeting places, but several other factors influence social cohesion of UGI. Our research on stewardship BCD showed that allotment gardens are important urban green spaces as they provide a broad contact to urban nature, are a social carrier of soil management practices and help to save species in cities.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherGreen surge
Number of pages63
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

Publication series

NameTechnical Report
VolumeSeptember 2017

Fields of Science

  • 1172 Environmental sciences
  • Biocultural Diversity
  • Green Infrastructure
  • Biodiversity
  • Cultural Diversity
  • European cities
  • Urban nature

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