Research Topic

Urban Ecosystem Service Assessments

About this Research Topic

The rapid growth of urban populations causes cities, and their suburbs, to spread and expand replacing agricultural and natural land. These changes in land-use alter the relationship between human societies and environmental resources, and have negative effects in energy flows, biogeochemical cycles, climatic conditions, habitat fragmentation, biodiversity loss, and decline in the provision of ecosystem goods and services. This problem will be amplified due to climate change which will increase land desertification and reduce the availability of natural resources in the future.

Achieving sustainable development of urbanization on a global level has become the primary purpose in community policy involving public administrators, civil society, private sector and scientists. However, a separation between urban policy and ecological approaches in land-use change still exists with the consequence that negative effects on the environment can be overlooked during urban design implementation. Therefore, practical approaches in land use change linked with the ecological theory for the operationalization of sustainable land-use need to be implemented.

In the literature, there are numerous applications that propose a mapping of ecosystem services and possible methods of economic evaluation. Nevertheless little focus in given to how ecological theories can be used to conserve ecosystem services while allowing for urban development and sustainable land use change. The aim of this Research Topic is to propose technology transfer that arises from feedback between the scientific world and public and private operators that manage the territory, suggesting land use projects to harmonize economic development and biodiversity valorization.

Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:
- Articles describing theoretical and practical approaches that can be combined to safeguard the ecological processes that underpin human well-being creating a strong synergy between land use change and valuation of ecosystem services;
- Articles implementing both innovative models of natural resource use and demand reduction that can stimulate low consumption lifestyles;
- Articles involving stakeholders in urban planning or design to define a new harmony between green spaces, new buildings and the identity of places;
- Single case studies reviewing sustainable urban design and construction of buildings, with public spaces and agricultural areas that can support ecological functions in the urban environment; and
- Urban design solutions providing support to the water cycle, building temperatures, urban microclimates, biodiversity levels, mitigation of urban flood risk and improving cultural, education and aesthetic value.

Studies should consider various spatial scales including single buildings, blocks, neighborhoods, entire cities or metropolitan areas and should include technology advances and/or considering in-house solutions.

This Topic has been realised in collaboration with Dr. Alessio Turco and Dr. Roberta Aretano. Cover Image by Dr. Aurelia Scarano.


Keywords: land use, ecosystem services, natural resources, urban planning, sustainable design, nature based solutions, urban microclimates, urban policy, urban ecology


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The rapid growth of urban populations causes cities, and their suburbs, to spread and expand replacing agricultural and natural land. These changes in land-use alter the relationship between human societies and environmental resources, and have negative effects in energy flows, biogeochemical cycles, climatic conditions, habitat fragmentation, biodiversity loss, and decline in the provision of ecosystem goods and services. This problem will be amplified due to climate change which will increase land desertification and reduce the availability of natural resources in the future.

Achieving sustainable development of urbanization on a global level has become the primary purpose in community policy involving public administrators, civil society, private sector and scientists. However, a separation between urban policy and ecological approaches in land-use change still exists with the consequence that negative effects on the environment can be overlooked during urban design implementation. Therefore, practical approaches in land use change linked with the ecological theory for the operationalization of sustainable land-use need to be implemented.

In the literature, there are numerous applications that propose a mapping of ecosystem services and possible methods of economic evaluation. Nevertheless little focus in given to how ecological theories can be used to conserve ecosystem services while allowing for urban development and sustainable land use change. The aim of this Research Topic is to propose technology transfer that arises from feedback between the scientific world and public and private operators that manage the territory, suggesting land use projects to harmonize economic development and biodiversity valorization.

Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:
- Articles describing theoretical and practical approaches that can be combined to safeguard the ecological processes that underpin human well-being creating a strong synergy between land use change and valuation of ecosystem services;
- Articles implementing both innovative models of natural resource use and demand reduction that can stimulate low consumption lifestyles;
- Articles involving stakeholders in urban planning or design to define a new harmony between green spaces, new buildings and the identity of places;
- Single case studies reviewing sustainable urban design and construction of buildings, with public spaces and agricultural areas that can support ecological functions in the urban environment; and
- Urban design solutions providing support to the water cycle, building temperatures, urban microclimates, biodiversity levels, mitigation of urban flood risk and improving cultural, education and aesthetic value.

Studies should consider various spatial scales including single buildings, blocks, neighborhoods, entire cities or metropolitan areas and should include technology advances and/or considering in-house solutions.

This Topic has been realised in collaboration with Dr. Alessio Turco and Dr. Roberta Aretano. Cover Image by Dr. Aurelia Scarano.


Keywords: land use, ecosystem services, natural resources, urban planning, sustainable design, nature based solutions, urban microclimates, urban policy, urban ecology


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

03 July 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

03 July 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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