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Title: Modelling urban ecosystem services : spatial patterns and implications for aspects of urban design
Author: Mears, Meghann
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2010
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Urbanisation causes profound changes in natural ecosystems, often reducing or eliminating ecosystem services, i.e. benefits from nature to human well-being. Cities can nevertheless contain a substantial amount of greenspace, which has the potential to continue to provide such services. Knowledge of how to manage urban ecosystems from this perspective has the potential to improve citizens’ quality of life and urban sustainability. This thesis presents six urban ecosystem service models, namely: reduction of air pollution; heat island mitigation; stormwater runoff reduction; carbon storage; opportunities for cultural ecosystem services in public greenspaces; and provision of habitat for biodiversity. These are explored to examine the nature and spatial pattern of ecosystem service provision in an urban system, using the city of Sheffield, UK as a case study. Key results from this are: (1) There is a general increase in ecosystem service production from the urban centre outwards, although there some service hotspots in the urban centre. (2) The production of different services is not spatially co-incident. (3) Perceived spatial pattern of service provision is dependent upon the spatial resolution used for analysis. (4) Certain features of urban morphology can improve levels of the modelled ecosystem services. (5) There is significant socioeconomic inequity in access to ecosystem services, with unskilled manual workers, multicultural communities, and young households being particularly deprived. (6) Combining information from these analyses allows identification of neighbourhood morphologies that provide higher levels of ecosystem services to the most deprived groups, with housing that they can still afford. Overall, this study shows the potential for insights into urban ecosystem service provision from to be gained from tractable spatial models, and that these could provide starting points for enhancing the well-being of urban residents through appropriate urban design.
Supervisor: Warren, Philip H. ; Maltby, Lorraine ; Raffaelli, Dave Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available