About this Research Topic
Research on urban greening for ecosystem services provision has received growing attention in the last decades. Nevertheless, most studies are based on research from developed regions such as North America, Europe and Australia. In contrast, studies from the developing but highly urbanized regions, such as Latin America, have played a secondary role. Language barriers and the lack of researchers may have limited the scientific contribution of Latin American scholars in the past. However, during the last decade, Latin America has seen an increasing number of scientific institutes and academic programs on urban sustainability and landscape planning, with a growing body of researchers focusing on urban greening and ecosystem services. Urban greening for ecosystem services provision in Latin-American cities may face several challenges that differ from those in developed countries, including limited resources, inadequate regulation and planning, weak institutions and socioeconomic inequalities. Therefore, providing a space for a Latin-American outlook on this topic is timely and necessary.
Increasing the provision of ecosystem services through urban greening is essential for moving towards more sustainable and resilient cities, particularly those in developing regions where lack of planning, inadequate regulations, weak enforcing policies, limited resources and prioritization on poverty mitigation, among other factors, have resulted in several environmental problems negatively affecting the quality of life of millions of people. With 80% of the population living in urban areas, Latin America is among the most urbanized regions in the world and one with the largest environmental and socioeconomic problems. Therefore, improving the environmental quality of Latin-American cities through urban greening not only requires developing strategies to increase urban vegetation, but even more challenging, generating knowledge and methods to integrate social, economic and environmental disparities into effective planning solutions. Such knowledge is essential to inform decision makers from Latin America to promote urban greening to provide ecosystem services, and will certainly also offer key information to researchers and decision makers from other highly urbanized regions tackling similar problems.
Contributions to this Research Topic should focus on the following themes:
• Literature reviews on specific topics associated with urban greening and ecosystem services at regional, national or subnational scales to help summarize Latin-American findings.
• Systematic reviews for understanding past and current trends on urban greening and urban ecosystem services research in Latin America to identify gaps and needs for future studies.
• Novel methodological approaches, methods and techniques applied in Latin-American cities to understand the relationship between urban greening and ecosystem services provision, including vegetation assessment, planning and management, and valuation and perception of ecosystem services provided by urban vegetation.
• Research articles reporting empirical findings on the relationship between urban greening and ecosystem services provision in Latin America.
• Case studies reporting successful or unsuccessful experiences of vegetation planning for urban ecosystem services provisioning.
• Theoretical frameworks to help understand and overcome the specific challenges of Latin-American cities for planning and managing urban greening for ecosystem services provision, with emphasis on urban inequalities.
Keywords: Urban Greening in Latin America, Ecosystem Services in Latin America, Urban Greening, Ecosystem Services, Vegetation Assessment, Planning and Management, Valuation and Perception of Ecosystem Services, Urban Vegetation, Vegetation Planning
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.