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ISBN (Series): 978-92-1-133398-5
ISBN(Volume): 978-92-1-132462-4


The designations employed and the presentation of material in this report do not imply
the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United
Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities,
or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries, or regarding its economic
system or degree of development. The analysis conclusions and recommendations of this
publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations Human Settlements
Programme or its Governing Council.

Cover photo: The Rio Uberabinha, in Uberlândia, Brazil, functions as a

green corridor and incorporates water infrastructure as well
as public and private recreational facilities © UN-Habitat/
Alessandro Scotti


Project Supervisor: Rafael Tuts

Project Manager: Andrew Rudd
Project Consultant: Mark Swilling
Coordinating Author: Blake Robinson
Principal Author: Gill Cullinan
Assistant Author: Matthew Cullinan
Case Study Authors: Heidi Collocott, Martin de Wit, Arlene Inocencio, Cecil Madell,
Natalie Mayer, Tatu Mtwangi-Limbumba, Christian Wilke
Lead Reviewer: Sara Borgström
General Reviewers: Daniel Irurah, Gordon Pirie
Publication Coordinator: Ndinda Mwongo
Graphic Contributor: Richa Joshi
Editor: Victoria Quinlan
Design and layout: Freddie Murimi/UN-Habitat

Printer: UNON


The city is one of the highest pinnacles of innovate, generate wealth, enhance quality
human creation. Concentrating so many of life and accommodate more people
people in dense, interactive, shared spaces within a smaller footprint at lower per-
has historically provided distinct advantages, capita resource use and emissions than any
that is, agglomeration advantages. Through other settlement pattern.
agglomeration, cities have the power to

Figure I: Greenhouse gas emissions and containment index for selected

metropolitan regions



Green House Gas emissions per capita (Mt CO2 eq)


Baltimore Frankfurt

Philadelphia Portland

San Francisco Hamburg London



5 Rs
Paris qua
re =

-3% -2% -1% 0% 1%

Metropolitan region containment index (1995 - 2005)

© Philipp Rode (difference in population growth rates between core and belt)

Or so they could. Increasingly, cities are than more,1,2 and are wasting their potential
forfeiting many of the benefits that in ways that generate sprawl, congestion
agglomeration has to offer. Two meta- and segregation. These patterns are making
studies of urban land expansion have shown cities less pleasant and equitable places in
that over the last two decades most cities which to live. They are also threatening the
in the world have become less dense rather earth’s carrying capacity. And they are most

Figure II: Average Built-up Area Densities in Three World Regions

Built-up area density (persons per hectare)

Global sample, 1990
Global sample, 2000
Universe of citiesi, 2000
Developing Europe and Japan Land-Rich
Countries Developed Countries

Source: Making Room for a Planet of Cites, by Shlomo Angel, Jason Parent, Daniel L. Civco, and
Alejandro M. Blei. © 2011. Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Cambridge, MA.

Figure III: The General Decline in Built-Up Area Densities in 25 Representative

Cities, 1800-2000

1400 Eastern Asia

Algiers and the Pacific
1200 Southeast Asia
South and Central Asia
Density (persons per hectare)

1000 Western Asia

Northern Africa
800 Mumbai
Sub-Saharan Africa
Mexico City
Beijing Shanghai Latin America
Cairo and the Caribbean
600 Paris Tel Aviv
Istanbul Teheran Europe and Japan
400 Bangkok
Buenos Aires Accra Developed Countries
Guatemala City
200 Lagos
Johannesburg Kuwait City
0 Los Angeles

1780 1805 1830 1855 1880 1905 1930 1955 1980 2005

Source: Making Room for a Planet of Cites, by Shlomo Angel, Jason Parent, Daniel L. Civco, and
Alejandro M. Blei. © 2011. Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Cambridge, MA.

i This refers to 3,646 large cities with a population of over 100,000 or more.

acute in fast-growing cities, particularly Although the percentage of the urban
those with the lowest institutional capacities, population living in slums worldwide has
weakest environmental protections and decreased, the absolute number of people
longest infrastructure backlogs. living in slums continues to grow.5 No less
than 62 per cent of all urban dwellers in
Increasingly, city managers wish to learn sub-Saharan Africa live in slums, compared
by example. Rather than more theory and to Asia where it varies between 24 per cent
principles, they want to know what has and 43 per cent, and Latin America and
worked, what has not, and which lessons the Caribbean where slums make up 27
are transferrable to their own contexts. per cent of the urban population.6 If these
There is much information available, but growing cities are to be socially sustainable,
little time. UN-Habitat has developed these new approaches will be required to
“quick guides” for urban practitioners integrate the poor so that the urbanization
who need condensed resources at their process improves inter-generational equity
fingertips. The aim is to suggest patterns rather than entrenching socio-spatial
that can help cities and city-regions regain fragmentation. Privatized models of
these inherent advantages in a time of service delivery that discriminate between
increased uncertainty and unprecedented consumers based on their ability to pay
demographic expansion. threaten to worsen inequalities,7 and
require carefully considered parameters to
More than half the global population now ensure that the poor are not disadvantaged.
lives in towns and cities. By the year 2050,
UN-Habitat research projects that that According to a recent World Bank study,
figure will rise to two-thirds. This rapid, urban population growth is likely to result
large-scale concentration of humanity in the in the significant loss of non-urban land
world’s cities represents new challenges for as built environments expand into their
ingenuity, and numerous opportunities to surroundings. Cities in developing countries
improve the way in which human habitats are expected to triple their land area
are shaped. Most of this population growth between 2005 and 2030, with each new
will be in the cities of developing countries, city dweller converting an average of 160
which are expected to grow by an additional metres 2 of non-urban land to urban land.8
1.3 billion people by 2030, compared to 100 Despite slower population growth, cities in
million in the cities of the developed world industrialized countries are likely to see a
over the same period.3 2.5 times growth in city land areas over the
same period due to a more rapid decline in
While urban population growth rates are average densities when compared to their
stabilizing in regions which are already developing country counterparts.9 As built
predominantly urban (such as Europe, environments become less dense and stocks
North, South and Central America and of built up land accumulate, the amount
Oceania), regions with a higher proportion of reproductive and ecologically buffering
of rural population (such as Asia and land available for ecosystems and food
Africa) are likely to see exponential production is diminished, reducing the ability
rates of urban population growth in the of city-regions to support themselves.10
coming years.4 Most urbanization is likely
to occur in cities relatively unprepared While international trade has made it
to accommodate these numbers, with possible for cities to meet their demands for
potential negative repercussions for food, water and energy with imports from
quality of life, economic development and faraway lands, it is becoming increasingly
the natural environment. apparent that the appetite of the world’s

Figure IV: Ecological Footprint and Human Development Index for selected
countries and cities


Ecological Footprint (gha/capital)

San Francisco

Oslo New Zealand

Australia Vancouver


Norway Melbourne


UK London

Hong Kong



Nairobi Sustainability target

500 600 700 800 900 1,000

Human Development Index (HDI)

© Philipp Rode

growing and increasingly affluent population rates of resource use, we are exceeding bio-
is coming up against limitations in the capacity by 30 per cent,11 and approximately
planet’s ability to support human life on 60 per cent of the ecosystems we depend on
this scale. It is estimated that our addiction for goods and services are being degraded
to oil will result in a peak in oil extraction or used in an unsustainable manner.12 We
within the next decade, leading to dramatic are living off the planet’s natural capital
increases in the costs of fuel, mobility, food instead of the interest from this capital, and
and other imports. Greater demand for there are already signs of the devastating
potable water, combined with changing effect this will have on our societies and
rainfall patterns, the depletion of aquifers economies in depleting fish stocks, loss of
and pollution of groundwater, is likely to fertile soil, shrinking forests and increasingly
see increasing competition for scarce fresh unpredictable weather patterns.13
water resources, raising the possibility of
conflict in the near future. The global population is reaching a size
where cities need to start thinking beyond
The ability of ecosystems to continue their immediate interests to consider their
providing biotic resources like wood, fish role as nodes of human consumption and
and food, and to absorb manmade wastes waste production in a finite planet that is
- commonly referred to as the earth’s “bio- struggling to keep pace with humanity’s
capacity” - is also diminishing. Comparing demands. If cities are to survive, they
global ecological footprints to the earth’s must acknowledge the warning signs of
available capacity shows that, at current ecosystem degradation and build their

economies in a manner that respects and This guide is one of a set of four aimed at
rehabilitates the ecosystems on which life inspiring city managers and practitioners to
depends. If cities are to prosper, they must think more broadly about the role of their
embrace the challenge of providing shelter cities, and to collaborate with experts and
and uninterrupted access to water, food and interest groups across disciplines and sectors
energy and improve quality of life for all of to promote both human and environmental
their citizens. prosperity. The guides are based on the
outputs of an expert group meeting hosted
The way in which city spaces, buildings by UN-Habitat in February 2011 entitled
and infrastructural systems are planned, What Does the Green Economy Mean for
designed and operated influences the Sustainable Urban Development? Each
extent to which they encroach on natural guide focuses on one of the following cross-
ecosystems, and locks them into certain cutting themes:
modes of consumption from which they
struggle to deviate. Urban activities have Working with Nature
direct and indirect consequences for
the natural environment in the short, With functioning ecosystems forming the
medium and long term, and their scale of foundation for social and economic activity,
influence typically extends far beyond the this guide looks at how built environments
boundaries of what is typically considered can be planned to operate in collaboration
to constitute “the city”. Managing the with nature. It looks at how to plan cities
indirect, distant and sometimes obscured and regions for ecosystem health, focusing
impacts of city decision making in an on allowing sufficient space for natural
increasingly globalized world requires systems to continue providing crucial goods
appropriate governance mechanisms and services like fresh water, food, fuel and
that improve cities’ accountability for the waste amelioration.
resources they rely on.
Leveraging Density
As nexuses of knowledge, infrastructure
and governance, cities represent a key This guide looks at the relationship
opportunity to stimulate larger scale between built and natural environments
change toward green economies. In a world from the perspective of cities, and
where cities are increasingly competing considers how their impact on ecosystem
against each other economically, where functioning might be reduced by making
weather patterns are unpredictable and low best use of their land coverage. Planning
resource prices can no longer be assumed, the growth of cities to achieve appropriate
cities need to proactively shape their densities and providing alternative forms
economies and operations in preparation of mobility to private vehicles help to
for an uncertain future. To manage risk in slow urban expansion onto ecologically
a democratic manner, a balance will need sensitive land, and can reduce citizens’
to be struck between deliberative decision demand for scarce resources by sharing
making processes and centralized master them more efficiently.
planning. This can be done by empowering
planning professionals to respond quickly Optimizing Infrastructure
and effectively to evolving developments
without compromising longer term shared Considering urban infrastructure as
visions of a better city14. the link between city inhabitants and
natural resources, this guide looks at how
infrastructural systems can be conceived

differently in order to help all city residents with complementary areas of specialization.
to conserve resources. It introduces new It also considers how innovation for green
concepts and approaches to the provision of economic development can be encouraged
infrastructural services, such as energy, water through the clustering of industries, and
and waste treatment, and demonstrates through collaborations between government,
how infrastructure investments can act as the private sector and academia.
catalysts for urban sustainability.
Each guide contains a selection of case studies
Clustering for Competitiveness from around the world that demonstrate
how cities have approached sustainability
Taking a broader perspective, this guide challenges in a manner befitting the realities of
looks at city regions and how they can be their unique context. Showcasing a wide range
more optimally planned to achieve economic of options, the case studies are not aimed at
objectives in a manner that does not waste prescribing solutions, but are rather intended
local resources. It looks at how competitive to inspire the considered development of
advantage can be achieved at a regional scale contextually relevant approaches in other
by encouraging cooperation between cities cities to enhance their sustainability.

Biodiversity: the variability among living Landscape change: The dynamic process
organisms from all sources including, inter through which the landscape is transformed
alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic either intentionally or unintentionally.
ecosystems and the ecological complexes of
which they are part; this includes diversity Landscape fragmentation: The decrease
within species, between species and of of patch area and patch connectivity in a
ecosystems. (Article 2, Convention on landscape.
Biological Diversity).
Landscape assessment: The mapping and
Biodiversity hotspot: A biogeographic assessment of the landscape in order to
region with a significant reservoir of provide a comprehensive information base
biodiversity that is under threat from and the coordination of planning tools and
humans. strategies in order to inform the process of
decision making concerning land use.
City region: The area within which the
connections between one or more cities and Landscape structure/pattern: The spatial
the surrounding rural land are intense and arrangement of the various natural and
functionally (economically, socially, politically human areas and uses.
and geographically) connected. These areas
are typically 80-100 km across and occupy Patch: A relatively homogenous area that
up to 10,000 km². differs from its surroundings.

Ecological/green infrastructure: The Urban compaction: The process that

structural landscape network made up of aims to increase built area and residential
vegetated/non-sealed landscape elements population densities; to intensify urban
and spatial patterns. It provides for range of economic, social and cultural activities
uses including delivering ecosystem services. and to manipulate urban size, form and
structure and settlement systems in search
Ecosystem: A biological system that includes of the environmental, social and global
both living and non-living organisms. sustainability benefits that can be derived
from concentration of urban functions.
Ecosystem services: Goods and services
produced by nature and shaped by social Urban resilience: A city’s ability to cope
ecological processes that are beneficial to with, and adapt to, natural disasters and
humans. changing circumstances.

Ecological urbanism: A new approach to Urbanization: A process of migration of

city development that considers urbanism people that results in population increase
and the environment in a holistic way. in cities with increased urban area and
population density.
Habitat: The environment needed for an
organism to complete its lifecycle and that
could be very large scale.

Foreword iii
Glossary ix
Contents xi
Chapter 1: Introduction 1
Chapter 2: The Challenges of Urbanization 5
2.1 The importance of biodiversity 5
2.2 Urban sprawl gives rise to unsustainable patterns of development 9
2.3 Fragmentation 10
Chapter 3: Landscape Mosaic Patterns 13
3.1 What is a landscape mosaic pattern? 13
3.2 Key concepts of the patches and corridors model 17
Chapter 4: Promoting a Landscape Mosaic Pattern 21
4.1 Identify strategic landscape patterns to safeguard the critical
ecological process 21
4.2 Highlight the economic and cultural value of ecosystem services 22
4.3 Work with ecological processes 22
4.4 Adopt an integrated planning and management approach 22
4.5 See the city as a living system 23
4.6 Make open spaces productive 24
4.7 Recycle, reclaim and reuse urban spaces 24
4.8 Make the process transparent and inclusive 25
Chapter 5: Implementing Sustainable Urban Growth 27
5.1 Plan on a tier of levels 27
5.2 Plan on an efficient modular basis that can be updated 27
Chapter 6: Case Studies 33
6.1. Towards mainstreaming urban agriculture into land use planning in
Dar es Salaam City, Tanzania 33
6.2. Watershed management, New York City, United States 37
6.3. Replacing highways with rivers: Seoul’s Cheonggyecheon River
Restoration Project 39
6.4 Striving towards sustainable development through a mosaic of land
use patches and corridors: Hangzhou, China 41
6.5 “StEP Klima” - The ecological utility of green-spaces in the context
of climate change, Berlin, Germany 45
6.6 Valuation of ecosystem services in Cape Town, South Africa 49
6.7 Magat Watershed - A co-management approach in Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines 51
6.8 Commitment to biodiversity and ecosystem habitats: Zagreb, Croatia 56
Chapter 7: Conclusion 61
Endnotes 63

The High Line in Manhattan, New York City at West 20th Street, looking downtown (south)
© Wikipedia/Beyond My Ken


This guide focuses on the effect of unplanned, comes from the conscious monitoring and
rapid growth of cities on the functioning of management of resource flows, be it water
the ecosystems in which they are located. It and energy consumption, waste production
outlines how development can be guided to and disposal, greenhouse gas emissions,
ensure the ability of ecosystems to support food flows, and conservation and cultivation
sustainable human settlement. The pattern of of ecosystem goods and services.15
development in a region, properly managed, In this guide, the term resilience refers to the
has a direct bearing on the capability of a ability of a city to adapt to shocks, such as
city to function effectively and to benefit climate change and ecological stresses and
from ecosystem services. This guide offers scarcities, rather than the broader definition
a perspective on how to work with the of resilience, which includes economic and
ecological processes in a region. Its focus is social resilience.
specifically at the regional scale but it looks at
the need to work across scales; to understand Section 2 outlines the sustainability challenges
regional systems; and develop principles and faced by cities and examines how fragmentation
measures that can be applied at the regional, of the landscape interrupts ecosystems,
city and local scales. reduces habitats and threatens biodiversity.
It explains why biodiversity is important and
For humankind to thrive, we need examines why cities should focus on building
to understand how people can work resilience in order to weather unexpected
cooperatively with nature and ecosystems natural disasters and climate change, and
to protect and benefit from the earth’s manage resource flows productively. It
natural resources. Biodiversity is essential outlines the concept of Ecosystem Services
to sustain the flow of ecosystem services in and their value when managing resources in
times of change by supporting the adaptive a region.
capacity of the urban system. Cities need
to have a resilience that will allow them to Section 3 outlines the concept of the landscape
anticipate, respond and adapt to uncertain mosaic pattern as an organizing principle
and challenging conditions. This resilience for managed regional development. It


summarizes key concepts, such as patches • In Zagreb, Croatia, the city’s decision-
and corridors and ecological urbanism, makers, officials and communities have
which underpin the logic and benefits of the worked together to protect biodiversity.
landscape mosaic. The city’s concerted effort to involve a
range of stakeholders in the protection
Section 4 presents broad principles that can of the area’s biodiversity included
be used to promote the landscape mosaic active participation programmes, which
pattern. resulted in the recording and monitoring
of biodiversity assets.
Section 5 looks at the practical steps that
need to be taken to implement this approach. • In Nueva Vizcaya, the Philippines, an
innovative move from a traditional
Section 6 includes eight case studies that watershed management approach to the
demonstrate how the landscape mosaic pattern country’s first watershed co-management
has been used to support biodiversity and model was piloted in the Lower Magat
increase connectivity, and how ecosystem Forest Reserve in 1998. The Memorandum
services have been used to contribute to of Agreement (for 25 years and renewable
sustainable city development. for another 25 years) was between the local
government units of Nueva Vizcaya, the
• In New York City, United States, the Department of Environment and Natural
identification of strategic land patterns Resources, individuals, associations,
and watershed management has resulted cooperatives and corporations. Using this
in ensuring a supply of clean water. innovative, holistic approach, the local
Over a 12-year period, the city bought government units were able to protect
land and subsidized best management and manage the watershed in partnership
practices for the watershed, avoiding the with local communities.
need for extensive filtration of its upstate
water supply. About 90 per cent of the • In Berlin, Germany, the “StEPKlima” has
water used in New York City comes from already demonstrated the significance of
the Delaware-Catskill water system, existing urban green spaces and parks for
about 193 km north of the city. the improvement of climatic conditions,
for centrally placed leisure opportunities,
• In Cape Town, South Africa, the city has for protection of water resources and for
calculated the contribution of its ecosystem the maintenance of habitat for animals
services to its economy, and this is helping and plants. The ecological benefits that
to strengthen arguments for investments derive from the largest park in the city,
in environmental protection. Cape Town’s the Tiergarten, are a model for future
natural areas are under pressure from land planning and argue for the safeguarding
transformation, pollution and alien invasive of green spaces. These areas play a key
species; they need increased investment role in adapting to the negative effects of
and management effort. The city’s climate change and to the improvement
Environmental Management Department of living conditions in the city.
assessed the possible return on increased
investment in, and protection of, natural • In Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, urban
assets and this revealed the huge value of agriculture has been developed and
ecosystem services promoted as an income earner and


a food source at the subsistence or • In Seoul, South Korea, the

household level. Food security was Cheonggyecheon River has been restored
highlighted by droughts in the 1970s and the area around it revitalized. During
and 1980s and the government the 1960s, the Cheonggyecheon River,
supported urban agriculture in a bid which ran through the centre of Seoul,
to encourage households to be self- was covered in concrete and replaced
sufficient. The challenge has been to with a four-lane, elevated freeway as
regulate the largely informal urban part of a modernization process. With
agricultural activities so that natural the city authorities changing their focus
systems, such as river valleys and from accelerated industrialization and
wetlands, are not compromised. modernization to sustainability, health
and social responsibility, the restoration
• In Hangzhou, China, the State Council of the river was an opportunity for urban
approved the Hangzhou City Master renewal. The freeway was dismantled
Plan in 2001 to develop a sustainable and the Cheonggyecheon Restoration
city that is “prosperous, harmonious, Project created a 5.8 km landscaped
well-equipped and ecological”. A key green pathway alongside the revitalized
objective of the plan was to build a Cheonggyecheon stream. The project
resource-saving and environmentally was completed in 2005.
friendly city, with the emphasis
on environmental protection and Section 7 concludes the guide with a
expenditure reduction. summary of the key lessons.

A fertile river valley in the southern part of Tetouan, Morocco, still gives priority to grazing cattle,
though the city has recently permitted limited middle class residential development here
© UN-Habitat/Alessandro Scotti

The Challenges of

Urbanization poses many challenges, but the the waste from city consumption should
focus of this guide is on spatial patterns, and go directly back into providing nutrients to
the landscape mosaic pattern in particular, healthy ecosystems and habitats.
because this impacts most fundamentally
on ecosystems and associated biodiversity. 2.1 The importance of biodiversity
Other issues related to urbanization, such
as poverty, unemployment, transport and Of all land uses, the city and town, with
housing, for example, are not addressed their buildings, transport systems and parks
here. As noted in the Foreword, rapid, and need for food and other services, has
unmanaged development often results in a the greatest and most profound impact
pattern of urban sprawl and/or development on ecological processes 17 and on biological
on productive and biologically critical areas diversity. Because urbanization, and the food
and habitats, which radically alters the form production required to support it, is a continuing
of the landscape. This, in turn, affects the trend, this impact is likely to continue. The
functions and uses of the landscape. definition of biodiversity produced by the 2005
Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, based on
Wherever humans settle, they need supplies the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity,
of food and clean water, as well as ways is the diversity of life on Earth, made up of
of disposing of their waste. In urban areas, many components, including genes, species,
these services, which are provided by the populations and ecosystems, across a number
effective functioning of ecosystems, are of geographical scales, from local to global.18
usually sourced from the surrounding region, While urbanization can be a threat to
or in the case of food, from further afield.16 biodiversity, cities and regions also provide a
Conversely, waste from these inputs needs variety of opportunities for different species,
to be managed. Local government is usually in different habitats, across a range of land
responsible for drinking water and waste uses. Cities are often located in biodiversity
management. Supporting biodiversity hotspots, for example estuaries, coastlines,
and healthy ecosystems helps secure a ecotones and fertile plains. If they are well
sustainable service. In an ideal situation,


managed, cities can support biodiversity in facilitates movement of species and the
the following ways: functioning of ecosystems within the urban
fabric, and thus protects biodiversity.
• Cities act as refuges for species whose
habitats have been destroyed by 2.1.1 Biodiversity and the economy
intensive agriculture and forestry;
Biodiversity conservation is the crucial
• Cities are socio-ecological systems factor in maintaining a sustainable local
where new habitats and species economy because society and the economy
communities can develop; and are dependent on the ecosystem goods and
services provided by the environment.21
• Urban green areas provide cities with Biodiversity supports ecosystem services,
ecosystem services that cannot be which include both natural resources
imported, for example noise reduction, (products) and processes that provide a
absorption of air and water pollutants. service, such as water purification, fuel,
medicinal supplies and clean air. The
This list highlights the fact that cities are cost of replacing an ecosystem service,
important for global biodiversity and that for example by building and operating
urban green areas and the biodiversity in a water treatment facility, is higher than
them are important for urban sustainability conserving the ecosystem and enjoying
and the wellbeing of city residents. The the clean water that flows from it. Loss
relationship between humans and nature is of biodiversity has an even greater
constantly evolving, and as cities grow and cost when it involves the extinction
the boundary between the urban and rural and irreplaceable loss of a species
areas blur, plants and animals adapt to the that could provide medicinal services22
changing urban environment. The number and / or other services.
of habitats grows with increasing city size
and cities include both intentionally and 2.1.2 Biodiversity and ecosystem
unintentionally introduced species.19 services

The urban pattern has an effect on species The goods and services provided by nature
richness and biodiversity. Landscape are called ecosystem services. Besides
ecologists view the city as a complex providing the essential food and water
mosaic, with the built-up areas acting as supplies needed for survival, they also
the matrix and green areas as patches. include services such as water purification,
Within this mosaic there is a variety of cultural and medicinal benefits. In 1997, the
habitats and species. Key to biodiversity is annual value of global ecosystem services
whether species can move across the urban was conservatively estimated to be USD 32
fabric and/or colonize and inhabit it.20 trillion, almost double the global GDP.23
Among species there is a degree of matrix
sensitivity, with some species more able to The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment24
exploit the urban area as a habitat and others defined the following categories of
sometimes prevented from doing so because ecosystem services:
of fragmentation of the landscape.
• Provisioning services provide food,
The landscape mosaic pattern, which water, raw materials, biofuels, and
incorporates patches connected by corridors, medicinal resources.


• Regulating services regulate the quality The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity
of air, soil and water, provide flood and (TEEB) is an initiative to highlight the global
disease control, provide pollination services economic benefits of biodiversity. The
and regulate pests and prevent disease. study resulted from a decision made by
the environment ministers of the G8+5
• Habitat or supporting services provide countries at a meeting in Germany in
living spaces for plants or animals; they 2007 to “initiate the process of analysing
also maintain a diversity of different the global economic benefit of biological
breeds of plants and animals. diversity, the costs of the loss of biodiversity
and the failure to take protective measures
• Cultural services include the non- versus the costs of effective conservation”.25
material benefits people obtain from The TEEB approach is to use an economic
contact with ecosystems, including approach to environmental issues, which
aesthetic, spiritual, educational and helps decision makers to make an informed
psychological benefits; public health; use of scarce ecological resources.
and recreational opportunities.

TEEB’s approach:

• Provides information about the benefits management. The TEEB study advocates a
and costs of ecosystem services; tiered approach in valuing biodiversity.
• Creates a common language for
decision makers, thereby allowing the The first tier is recognizing value in ecosystems
value of natural capital to be visible and natural features, which may include
and mainstreamed in decision making; features with cultural or spiritual significance.
• Emphasizes the urgency of action by
showing that prevention of biodiversity The second tier is to demonstrate the value
loss is cheaper than restoration or in economic terms so that decision makers
replacement; and can weigh up the costs and benefits of a
• Generates information about value to particular ecosystem service, for example
guide designing policy incentives. using a natural system to control floods vs.
building concrete flood defences.
Humans are dependent on these ecosystem
services for survival, but natural habitats The third and final tier is to incorporate the
continue to be lost and biodiversity continues values of ecosystems into decision making
to be threatened. The TEEB approach aims through incentives, as well as through
to change this by assessing the costs and liability for environmental damage.
benefits of conserving and sustainably using
biodiversity and ecosystems, and then using Further reading: For more information about
this assessment as a tool to guide biodiversity TEEB see www.teebweb.org.


2.1.3 Climate change results in • Identification, conservation and

conditions of uncertainty management of ecosystem services.

Climate change is giving rise to temperature 2.1.4 Biodiversity and climate change
increases; extreme weather patterns;
changes in rainfall supply and intensity; Climate change is affecting biodiversity
increased risks of flooding and fire; and sea and ecosystem services and, according to
level change. This means cities operate in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment of
an increasingly unpredictable world. Urban 2005, it will probably be the major cause of
resilience refers to a city’s ability to cope biodiversity loss by the end of this century.29
with external shocks, as well as its ability to The Secretariat of the Convention on
adapt to change. Biological Diversity’s (SCBD) summary of
the key findings on biodiversity and climate
Using the broader definition of the term, a change includes the following points:30
resilient city has economic resilience (is able
to adapt to economic challenges), social • For every 1˚C rise in global mean surface
resilience (is inclusive), environmental resilience temperature there is an increasingly high
(is able to adapt to environmental challenges) risk of extinction of 10 per cent of species
and governance resilience (is able to adapt to assessed so far.
changing governance structures).26 The health
of the natural environment impacts on the • Ecosystems such as wetlands, mangroves,
economy and society as a whole, and is of coral reefs, Arctic ecosystems and cloud
equal or greater importance than short-term forests are vulnerable to climate change.
economic growth.27
• Climate change will have predominantly
A resilient city is one that strives to be negative impacts on the ecosystems
accountable for its resource use and and services that are essential for
monitors the following:28 human survival.

• Water, electricity and energy consumption; • Ecosystem-based approaches that

incorporate biodiversity and the provision
• Efficiency interventions to improve the of ecosystem services into adaptation
productivity of resource use; strategies have many benefits and help
maintain resilient ecosystems.
• “Unaccounted” water (water that is “lost”
before reaching its intended customer Biodiversity is affected by climate change
because of leaks, theft, or other reasons); in a number of ways. Temperature change,
rainfall frequency change, sea-level rise and
• Renewable energy generated per unpredictable weather are all examples
energy source; of first-order impacts, while second-order
impacts include increased invasion by
• Amount of waste generated and alien species and increased risk of fire.31
recycled per type; In order to develop mitigation and
adaptation strategies, local governments
• Greenhouse gas emissions per sector; need to assess the vulnerability of
biodiversity to climate change, and integrate
• Urban food flows and food security;


climate change risk into local biodiversity on resource flows and waste disposal
strategies and action plans.32 will result in more circular metabolisms
in cities. Because cities contain most of
2.1.5 Biodiversity and climate change the world’s population, and are therefore
mitigation and adaptation most responsible for the waste that is
generated annually, local governments
Biodiversity can help people adapt to have a key role to play in changing the
climate change, as well as mitigate climate way urban residents use resources and
change. Adaptation is “managing the dispose of waste.36
unavoidable” while mitigation is “avoiding
the unmanageable”. Coastlines planted 2.2 Urban sprawl gives rise to
with mangrove forests have been found unsustainable patterns of
to survive the effects of tsunamis better development
than those that did not have forests,
which means that the restoration of The growth of cities has given rise to patterns
mangrove forests could be an effective of development that have different impacts on
climate change adaptation mechanism.33 the efficient functioning of the city. Forman37
Similarly, because plants absorb carbon studied 38 urban regions from 32 countries
dioxide, store carbon and give off oxygen, the and identified spatial patterns that are more,
conservation of natural forests is an important and less, successful in maintaining biodiversity
carbon sequestration strategy that can assist and ecosystem functioning. Common,
biodiversity and mitigate climate change.34 but less successful, patterns include urban
Biodiversity and urban green areas are sprawl and uncontrolled development along
important for urban climate change transportation corridors. The urban sprawl
adaptation strategies by, for example, pattern is typically low-density development
cooling and hence decreasing the urban that accommodates people who want a large
heat island effect and absorbing water in plot of land, but it also increases the distances
times of intensive rainfalls. that they need to commute to work. This
pattern favours car owners and discriminates
2.1.6. Biodiversity, water and waste against the urban poor who have high
transport costs and diminished access to
Life is dependent on water and the quality employment opportunities. Increased traffic
and supply of water is in turn dependent congestion and travelling distances lead to
on healthy ecosystems.35 The supply and greater levels of pollution and emissions that
purification of water are two extremely cause climate change; they also result in
important ecosystems services performed by lowered local air quality, which has a severe
water catchments and the natural vegetation effect on public health, for example in Beijing,
that lines watercourses and wetlands. China. Urban sprawl is a spatial pattern
Waterways create a network across the common in developed countries with wealthy
landscape and promote biodiversity by market economies, but it also occurs in fast-
providing connected habitats for both plants growing cities in developing countries.38 A
and animals. second common spatial pattern is uncontrolled
development along transportation corridors,39
The dumping of waste into the environment which fragments the landscape, often
threatens biodiversity as natural carrying disrupting natural systems that act as corridors
capacities are increasingly overwhelmed for wildlife40 (and along which regional
by excessive development. New thinking transport corridors frequently run).


Forman concluded that two patterns of growth, can also ensure that the benefits of these accrue
“satellite cities” and “compact concentric to the city and its people.
zones” are beneficial for both humans and
natural systems, largely because they preserve Urban development in rapidly urbanizing
a greater number of large patches and green situations puts pressure on land and its
spaces for ecosystems while, at the same associated ecosystems. Sometimes these
time, they provide for human development.41 pieces of land are seen as marginal (for example,
Efficient public transport is key to supporting wetlands) but can be key components of
efficient, compact, urban forms and reducing productive ecosystems and thus the landscape
emissions. Research shows that the “compact mosaic, which - properly integrated into
city” (see Leveraging Density guide) model has urban systems - can bring substantial benefits.
lower per capita carbon emissions as long as This means that development can end up
efficient public transport is provided at both fragmenting the landscape and disrupting
the metropolitan and regional levels.42 natural systems. As cities grow and put pressure
on ecosystems, it is essential that an approach to
2.3 Fragmentation city development that focuses on the region as
a whole (and not just the urban area) should be
When roads, infrastructure, housing and adopted. The landscape mosaic spatial pattern,
agricultural activities cut through the landscape which works at the regional scale, can benefit
on the outskirts of a city, areas that previously the functioning of cities and ultimately positively
provided viable habitats for different species are enhance the life of the city dweller, while
fragmented into smaller and smaller parcels of maintaining ecological processes and protecting
land. This fragmentation of an area disrupts valuable resources.
ecosystems and natural processes, such as the
movement and interaction of animals, plants In summary, safeguarding ecosystems involves
and water; genetic exchange; resource access; understanding how those systems work.
and water flow. Avoiding fragmentation of Ecosystems provide valuable services for
a landscape can protect valuable ecosystems humans, including provisioning services (e.g.
services and biodiversity hotspots while providing food, water, raw materials, fuel
increasing resilience to some natural disasters. It and medicinal supplies); regulating services

Figure 2.1: Fragmentation leads to diminished habitats.



Source: Forman, R.T.T. (2008). Urban Regions: Ecology and Planning Beyond the City. Cambridge
University Press, Cambridge/New York

(e.g. regulating the quality of water and air); helps decision-makers understand why they
supporting services (e.g. habitat areas); and should be preserved. At the same time,
cultural services (e.g. recreational benefits of biodiversity hotspots should be protected for
access to nature). Making the benefits explicit purely ecological reasons.
Berlin is composed of high to medium dense settlements which are well serviced by local and regional
public rail and roads. This development pattern accommodates 3.5 million residents along with
peri-urban agriculture and a mosaic of natural areas, many of which are protected © Google

Landscape Mosaic

The city is an urban system that grows This new lens approach means starting with a
within a set of interlinked natural systems.43 map of the natural systems and appreciating
Human survival is dependent on this network the services that these systems provide us
of processes. The city should be seen as within a city and a region. Along the lines of
part of a living and productive landscape Waldheim’s landscape urbanism, Kongjian
from which humans draw benefits and to Yu argues that “ecological urbanism” is a
which we should feed waste in a manner necessary strategy for survival, entailing the
that maintains the integrity of the system recognition of the land as a living system and
as a whole. Urban expansion should be identifying an ecological infrastructure that
prepared for and managed by mapping will guide urban development. Landscape
and protecting systems that are the result ecologists define a “landscape mosaic”
of socio-ecological processes and allowing pattern as a grouping of large areas of land
these systems to inform urban expansion, connected by corridors that allow built and
instead of trying to impose a standard model natural networks to exchange with one
of spatial development onto a landscape. another in ways optimal to the functioning
Waldheim44 argues for a new approach to of both.45 This spatial pattern allows for
city planning: both humans and nature to thrive, because
some areas are designated for development
“Landscape urbanism describes a disciplinary but others are preserved as habitat, and
realignment currently underway in which natural systems are accommodated and
landscape replaces architecture as the basic encouraged to function within the pattern.
building block of contemporary urbanism.
For many, across a range of disciplines, 3.1 What is a landscape mosaic
landscape has become both the lens pattern?
through which the contemporary city is
represented and the medium through which Richard Forman’s research examines the
it is constructed.” spatial patterns and relationships that best
equip us, and nature, to survive and thrive.
He defines urban ecology as “the study of the


interactions of organisms, built structures and less-dense suburban and peri-urban land uses,
the natural environment, where people are often contributing to sprawl. In most cases,
aggregated around a city or town”.46 Most the line between the urban area and the rural
cities have a built-up core area surrounded by area is hard to pinpoint.

Figure 3.1: Principles to plan for nature in urban regions








– +









(N) (P)
(C) (B) P C B N P C B N P C B


Source: After Forman (Forman, R.T.T. (2008). Urban Regions: Ecology and Planning Beyond the City.
Cambridge University Press)

CHAPTER 3: Landscape mosaic patterns that provide for sustainable urban development

Forman raises the question of whether it spaces and built areas and the complete
is better for humans to live in a coarse- or destruction of natural areas.
fine-grained landscape. The coarse-grain
landscape is one that has large patches The function of an area is informed by the
that support specialization, while the fine- landscape infrastructure or pattern. Human
grained landscape has many small land uses and ecological conditions are affected
that appeal generally. Forman argues that the by the patterns and processes at three
landscape with the benefits of both would scales: regional, patches, and site. The
be a mosaic landscape with large patches patterns differ across the scales, and the
and some finer-grained areas within it. The movement of species across the landscape
benefits of this design include a wide range is affected by the size of the habitats and
of land uses; transportation time and cost is the species population. A coarse-grained
limited; and diversity and specialization are landscape incorporating fine-grained areas
accommodated. He categorizes nature into provides a better range of habitats than a
four sections: single type of grain. A range of elements
makes up the mosaic, including natural
• A “natural” area, for example a systems, biodiversity hotspots, agricultural
wilderness area or forest; land, hazardous areas and developed area
(housing, transport routes etc). Forman
• A “semi-natural” area looks like a natural argues that a “patches and corridors”
ecosystem but is often degraded, for approach is one way to connect these systems,
example a city park; allowing for continuous links that enable a city
to grow around the natural systems.
• An “intensive-use green space” is
a heavily adapted landscape, for In terms of biodiversity, green corridors
example a golf course or a farm/rural (as opposed to transport or infrastructure
agriculture; and corridors) in the land mosaic provide a
connectivity, which allows species to move
• A “built” area is a typical cityscape between areas. While some species can
with residential and office buildings tolerate moving between small patches,
and roads. others need linear corridors, the widths
of which depend on the species and the
These categories can be used to classify the surrounding developments. Modified
environment during the planning process. habitats can function as corridors, for
Forman states that the relationship between example Barcelona uses parks and tree-lined
people and these areas determines the level streets as part of its corridor network, and
of degradation of the environment. While Johannesburg uses protected wetlands and
nature has a positive effect on people (and rivers as part of its corridor network.47
sometimes negative, for example natural
disasters) and people sometimes have a Putting an economic value to these system
positive effect on nature (when an area is services highlights the role that they play in
restored), the most significant impact is the the region as a whole. The “patches and
negative effective that humans have on corridors” approach protects elements of the
nature. From this, Forman concludes that natural landscape, such as aquifers, stream
a fine-grained intermixing of people and headwaters, large-home-range species
nature would lead to the transformation of and viable populations of species. Forman
the environment into intensive-use green states that in this approach, important goals


include a grouping of large natural patches corridors reduces local extinction and
or “emerald islands” as well as vegetated increases decolonization, which improves a
corridors between the patches to provide species’ chances of survival.
connectivity.48 Having these patches and

Figure 3.2: Patches and Corridors.







Source: After Forman (Forman, R.T.T. (2008). Urban Regions: Ecology and Planning Beyond the City.
Cambridge University Press)

Figure 3.3: Connectivity.




Source: After Forman (Forman, R.T.T. (2008). Urban Regions: Ecology and Planning Beyond the City.
Cambridge University Press)

CHAPTER 3: Landscape mosaic patterns that provide for sustainable urban development

Forman puts forward the Multiple Species the region. This meant that developers were
Conservation Plan (MSCP) for San Diego as able to invest in areas outside the network
a good example of an ecologically focused and administrative delays were reduced.
regional plan. It had a clear environmental Crucially, the government provided funding
goal, which was to protect biodiversity. The for land acquisition and management, and
plan included an agreed map and a strategy it managed the process so that both parties
to protect a network of green patches were protected if new information meant that
and corridors. It identified the areas that the map needed to be changed. Ten years
needed to be protected in order to ensure after the plan was developed, two-thirds of
biodiversity, and it removed ecological the areas identified as needing protection,
constraints on development elsewhere in remained protected.

3.2 Key concepts of the patches and • Natural systems such as wetlands can
corridors model be protected by the definition of a
patch around the system.
Patches and corridors are the key spatial
concepts and interventions for increasing 3.2.2 Corridors (natural or green)
connectivity and preventing fragmentation.49
• The key factors regarding corridors,
For more information see Forman, R.T.T. natural processes and networks are:
(2008). Urban Regions: Ecology and Planning
Beyond the City. Cambridge University Press, • The shape, size and relationship of
as well as Jaeger, J.A.G. and Madriñán L.F. the areas between patches affect the
(2011). Landscape Fragmentation in Europe. opportunities for movement of species,
Joint EEA-FOEN report. genetic exchange and the viability of
3.2.1 Patches
• Patches and the corridors between
The key factors regarding patches are: them affect the flow of water. Natural
vegetation alongside river systems
• The size and shape of a patch affect how protects against erosion, minimizes
well a patch can function on its own or downstream flooding, keeps aquifer
in relation to other nearby patches. Large groundwater clean and facilitates
patches provide larger habitats and are wildlife movement.
more effective in protecting water systems.
The shape of a patch is important; rounder • The width and connectivity of a corridor
patches with a smoother edge provide a between patches affects the ability of
greater core area than long, thin patches a corridor to act as a conduit, filter (or
or those with jagged edges. barrier), source, sink and/or habitat.
Species use small patches as places to
• Patches help to conserve natural habitats rest along a corridor and as stepping-
and should be defined in biodiversity stones between larger patches.
hotspots. Patches help to conserve Where there are habitat differences
species by protecting a representative between a patch and a corridor there
area of a species and allowing for is a reduction in species movement
reproduction of the species. across the landscape; where there is


heterogeneity of microhabitat there is • Bypasses should be located close to

an increase in the species pool. human settlements to reduce the
fragmentation of the surrounding
• An area that has a network of large landscape and keep patch sizes as
natural patches and connecting large as possible.
corridors has a high degree of
connectivity. Areas that have this • Roads that are under-used or
connectivity tend to have a greater unnecessary should be closed and the
diversity of species. There is a greater infrastructure removed to facilitate the
diversity of species in an area that has movement of species and water across
a high degree of connectivity. larger patches.

3.2.3 Movement • Corridors linking parks creates a pedestrian

network of parks that facilitates the
• When roads are built they fragment a movement of people and species between
landscape, they can destroy habitats the parks.
and can act as barriers to the movement
of animals and natural systems such 3.2.4 Communities and development
as water systems. Providing highway
underpasses and overpasses helps • Development needs to be located in
to reduce fragmentation by allowing areas of low ecological value to protect
the movement of water and animals. ecological processes that provide
Roadsides can be excellent migration ecosystem services.
routes for species.
• Protecting natural areas of high hazard
• The bundling of roads close together risk reduces the risk of community
allows for patches to remain large, disasters.
which is preferable to a number
of different roads crisscrossing and • Compact development increases
fragmenting an area into small patches. access to the opportunities available
A road should be placed parallel to an to a community, such as employment,
existing railway line so that the transport education and access to markets.
routes are bundled.50 The barrier effect
of a bundle of road and rail routes is • Public transport is supported by higher
greater than that of a single route, but densities.
a bundle reduces the fragmentation
of the surrounding area. Underpasses • Infill development on green spaces should
or overpasses can help mitigate this be carefully considered as it may reduce
effect. the opportunity for species movement
across a park and patch network.
• The upgrading of existing roads should
be prioritized over the building of • Implementing measures to manage urban
new roads. Widening an existing road environmental resources that prioritize
increases the barrier effect, but this is long-term benefits is cost effective and
preferable to building new roads that supports sustainable development. For
contribute to further fragmentation of example, reducing impermeable surfaces
the landscape. limits runoff and the pollution of water

CHAPTER 3: Landscape mosaic patterns that provide for sustainable urban development

sources, recharges groundwater and structure and settlement systems in

sustains streams. The need for piped search of the environmental, social and
connections is reduced when storm water global sustainability benefits, which can
is channelled into natural vegetation and be derived from concentration of urban
drainage systems. Wetlands have a number functions. Compact cities and directed
of benefits such as recreation, biodiversity, urban growth cause the least resource
flood control and pollutant absorption. degradation because they have a smaller
footprint and the growth is directed to
3.2.5 Landscape changes areas of low ecological significance.

• The landscape is affected and changed by • The effects of change on ecological

human activity. Urban sprawl surrounding systems are not always apparent
a city fragments the landscape and immediately as they may take time to
degrades natural resources. Compact cities emerge.
aim to increase built area and residential
population densities; to intensify urban • A land-use plan should be flexible and
economic, social and cultural activities accommodate potential changes as well
and to manipulate urban size, form and as regional and local needs across scales.

The Municipality of Uberlândia in Brazil grants authorization for construction to private developers
only within the perimeter of the city’s ring road. The urban planning idea is to develop the city
so that all vacant lots are filled before authorizing either verticalization of new buildings or the
development of rural areas. Many lots, which are used by locals for agriculture until they are sold,
remain available very close to the city centre © UN-Habitat/Alessandro Scotti

Promoting a
Landscape Mosaic

This section provides a range of broad principles and the collection of data. Biodiversity
designed to promote a landscape mosaic. planning then sets targets for biodiversity
conservation,51 including protection of the
4.1 Identify strategic landscape ecosystems and habitats. Both processes
patterns to safeguard the critical should be on-going within a management
ecological process system informed by monitoring, evaluation
and review. Once the ecosystem services and
The mapping of strategic landscape biodiversity hotspots have been identified
patterns allows planners to protect and mapped, it is far easier to make
valuable ecosystem services and biodiversity informed decisions about where urban
hotspots, while increasing resilience to some development should and should not occur.
natural disasters. Biodiversity assessment A good analysis of all natural systems should
involves mapping existing biodiversity (and be kept updated and GIS should be used for
productive green spaces which support storing and manipulating spatial data as well
ecosystem functioning) within a region as for monitoring and evaluation purposes.

Planning of Ecological Infrastructure across scales (adapted from Kongjian Yu)

Regional scale Identify, prioritize and protect strategic landscape patterns to

safeguard critical ecological and natural processes.

City scale Extend regional ecosystems into the urban fabric and use parks and
natural features to create a fine-grained network

Local / site scale Identify and protect patches and corridors.


Case study: Watershed management, Case study: Valuation of ecosystem services

New York City, United States in Cape Town, South Africa

The case study on New York’s approach to The case study on Cape Town’s valuation
ensuring supplies of clean water provides of ecosystem services documents how the
an excellent example of the importance of city has calculated the contribution of its
identifying strategic landscape patterns, and ecosystem services to its economy, which
how ecosystem services can be embraced is helping to strengthen arguments for
to save money on infrastructure. About investments in environmental protection.
90 per cent of the water used in New York Cape Town’s natural areas are under
City comes from the Delaware-Catskill water pressure from land transformation, pollution
system, about 193 km north of the city. Over and alien invasive species and are in need
a 12-year period, the city purchased land and of increased investment and management
subsidized best management practices for the effort. The city’s Environmental Management
watershed, avoiding the need for extensive Department assessed the possible economic
filtration of its upstate water supply. (Full case returns on increased investment in, and
study in Section 6.) protection of, natural assets, and this showed
the huge value of ecosystem services. In an
4.2 Highlight the economic and example of cooperative city management,
cultural value of ecosystem the department engaged with all the other
services departments in the city’s management
structure and involved them in the valuation
This Quick Guide has already highlighted the process. (Full case study in Section 6.)
“TEEB” approach, which uses an economic
approach to environmental issues so that of conventional engineering, as was done
decision makers can determine the best use in the Yongning River Park Project in China.
of scarce ecological resources. Kongjian Yu52 There, native grasses replaced the concrete
argues that ecological infrastructure works flood control measures and both locals and
to safeguard critical eco-services by: tourists appreciated the new park-like river’s
edge.53 Settlements should be kept away
• Providing food and water; from hazardous areas and growth prevented
from spreading onto sensitive areas of
• Regulating climate, disease, flood and ecological importance (not only to prevent
drought; natural disasters, but also to protect sensitive
natural systems). Ecosystems that have been
• Supporting habitats for indigenous weakened by urban fabric can be restored,
plants and animals; and albeit with some artificial help, as was done
in Seoul’s Cheonggyecheon River Restoration
• Providing spiritual and recreational Project.
4.4 Adopt an integrated planning
4.3 Work with ecological processes and management approach

Planners need to work with ecological The urban environment is the site of complex
processes, for example flood/storm water, economic, political, social and cultural
instead of against them. Flood control can relations, that are constantly shifting and
be managed using ecological systems instead changing, and as such, needs a range of

CHAPTER 4: Promoting a landscape mosaic spatial patternN

viewpoints and approaches.54 In order to champion(s) needs to be identified to drive

imagine an alternative vision of the city to the process.
the one that is most generally accepted now,
a new approach needs to be adopted, one Planning policies, standards and legislation
that is able to accommodate the conflicting will also often need to be reviewed to
needs of these relationships. This approach accommodate the desired urban growth.
means working across a range of scales, A catalytic project designed to support the
and incorporating the views of people who desired urban growth should be selected to
might disagree with each other. As pointed test and demonstrate the approach.
out by Charles Waldheim,55 the challenges
Case study: Magat Watershed -
Case study: Commitment to biodiversity A co-management approach in
and ecosystem habitats: Zagreb, Croatia Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines

The city of Zagreb has experienced rapid The case study on the Magat Watershed
and dynamic urban development over the in Nueva Vizcaya documents the move
last few decades, but has managed to from a traditional watershed management
safeguard its biodiversity and ecosystem approach to the country’s first watershed
habitats. The physical location of the city, co-management model, piloted in the
its history and cultures are intricately linked Lower Magat Forest Reserve in 1998.
to its biophysical setting and associated The Memorandum of Agreement (for
ecosystems. The city made a concerted effort 25 years and renewable for another 25
to involve a wide range of stakeholders in years) was between the local government
the protection of the city’s biodiversity. (Full units of Nueva Vizcaya, the Department
case study in Section 6.) of Environment and Natural Resources,
individuals, associations, cooperatives and
of the city do not respect disciplinary corporations. Using this innovative, holistic
boundaries. There is a need for a new, approach, the local government units were
interdisciplinary language, and with this able to protect and manage the watershed
new language would come the imperative in partnership with local communities. (Full
to consider city management and planning case study in Section 6.)
as a multidisciplinary task with a shared
vision and as an opportunity to improve
the quality of life for all citizens. Planners 4.5 See the city as a living system
need to prepare a long-term, adaptable,
planning framework in collaboration Andreas Branzi’s Seven Suggestions for a
with other experts and stakeholders, and New Athens Charter56 suggests that people
they need to seek consensus on common should practise a “cosmic hospitality”, and
goals. It is necessary to work together to lose their anthropocentric view; they should
proactively guide urban development and rather see the city as a place to accommodate
use spatial strategies, such as compact humans and animals, technology and the
cities, satellite cities and the urban edge sacred, and biodiversities. Urban planners
(rather than allowing unguided sprawl). need to see the city as a living system57 and
This approach needs to be discussed and identify the ecological infrastructure that
refined by local urban practitioners and a is essential for protecting ecological and
cultural processes.


4.6 Make open spaces productive urban stresses, which has social, cultural and
psychological benefits.
Urban agriculture is practised
throughout the world, both on privately 4.7 Recycle, reclaim and reuse
owned land and on public space, with urban spaces
or without permission. Making open
spaces productive offers the urban poor As the needs of a city change, the spaces
a chance to supplement their diet and/ in that city need to be recycled. Andreas
or their income, but it is not only the Branzi’s “New Athens Charter” describes
urban poor who can benefit from urban
agriculture. Kongjian Yu 58 writes that Case study: Towards mainstreaming urban
universities in China have traditionally agriculture into land use planning in Dar
been landscaped with ornamental es Salaam, Tanzania
lawns and flowers, but the Shenyang
Architectural University Campus was In Dar es Salaam, urban agriculture has been
designed to be productive. Storm water developed and promoted as an income earner
was directed to a pond, which acted as as well as a food source at the subsistence or
a reservoir to water rice paddies. Open household level. Food security was a national
classrooms were situated amongst the concern following droughts in the 1970s and
rice paddies. Frogs and fish were farmed 1980s, and the government supported urban
in the paddies. The project demonstrated agriculture in a bid to encourage households
that agriculture could be part of the to be self-sufficient. The challenge has been to
urban environment and be aesthetically regulate the largely informal urban agricultural
pleasing at the same time. activities so that natural systems such as river
valleys and wetlands are not compromised.
Case study“StEPKlima” - The ecological (Full case study in Section 6.)
utility of green-spaces in the context of
climate change, Berlin, Germany a city of the present rather than the
future, one that has to accommodate the
In Berlin, the “StEPKlima” has already demands of globalization, diffuse work
demonstrated the significance of existing urban and the environmental crisis. This city is
green spaces and parks for the improvement of a city with faults and contradictions; it
climactic conditions, for centrally-placed leisure requires flexibility in its structure to allow
opportunities, for protection of water resources, constant reshaping and replanning to deal
and for the maintenance of habitat for animals with its permanent state of crisis. Branzi
and plants. The ecological benefits that derive makes a number of suggestions regarding
from the largest park in the city, the Tiergarten, flexible spaces and advocates fostering the
provide a model for future planning and argue reuse of existing estates; the building of
for the safeguarding of green spaces. These areas reversible facilities that can be dismantled
play a key role in adapting to the negative effects of and changed to accommodate unexpected
climate change and to the improvement of living new activities; and buildings designed with
conditions in the city. (Full case study in Section 6.) crossable perimeters so that a function of a
space is not predetermined.59
Urban agriculture results in a reduced farm-
to-table distance; accommodates small- Kongjian Yu60 provides an example of
scale farmers; and is close to markets. It also successful recycling of an industrial area
provides city dwellers with a respite from into a public park. The Zhongshan Shipyard

CHAPTER 4: Promoting a landscape mosaic spatial patternN

Case study: Cheonggyecheon River 4.8 Make the process transparent

Restoration Project, Seoul, Korea and inclusive

The case study on Seoul’s Cheonggyecheon It is vital to include citizens and stakeholders
River Restoration Project demonstrates in the planning process, so that there is a
how a natural system can be reclaimed shared understanding of the importance of
and revitalized. During the 1960s, the biodiversity conservation and management,
Cheonggyecheon River, which ran through and a common vision of what needs to be
the centre of Seoul, was covered in concrete done. Planners need to work with non-
and replaced with a four-lane, elevated governmental organizations, academics
freeway as part of a modernization process. and stakeholders to share information
When the city authorities changed their and resources, and to make the process
focus from accelerated industrialization and inclusive. They need to engage with the
modernization to sustainability, health and local community to highlight the economic
social responsibility, the restoration of the and cultural value of natural systems so
river was seen as an opportunity for urban that there is a shared understanding of why
renewal. The freeway was dismantled and the natural systems need protection.
Cheonggyecheon Restoration Project created
a 5.8 km landscaped green pathway alongside The internet can be used as a tool to
the revitalized Cheonggyecheon stream. The make the planning process a platform
project was completed in 2005. With over for information, communication, public
17,000 people per square kilometre in this participation, marketing, public relations and
densely populated city of 10 million people, education. Developing a communication
the green pedestrian pathway has become strategy to raise public awareness, and
a major recreational area for city residents. compiling and maintaining stakeholder
The government supported the project by databases are important tools to increase
providing funding to local merchants and the public participation. The city of Bonn raises
project has reinvigorated a run-down section awareness of conservation issues by
of the city. (Full case study in Section 6.) encouraging its residents to experience
biodiversity in its open areas. It has a bi-
in China was built in the 1950s and went monthly report on environmental issues,
bankrupt in 1999. The shipyard was runs a hotline to answer questions on
greened and transformed into a public park, environmental issues and offers nature-
which is used by the local community and is based courses and excursions.61
a popular site for weddings.

The project named Parque Linear Rio Uberabinha (Linear Park of the Uberabinha River) is part of a
landscape design operation launched by the Municipality of Uberlândia, Brazil, for the reclamation
of the areas of the city crossed by the river Rio Uberabinha. Previously abandoned, the area covering
the Parque Linear has now been redesigned and hosts a permanent track for running and/or cycling
© UN-Habitat/Alessandro Scotti

Sustainable Urban

There are three elements to the planning and include objectives and guidelines for
and management of the regional landscape: nature conservation policy as well as spatial
an inventory of what natural capital exists; descriptions (see figure below). These are then
an assessment of which natural systems coordinated alongside landscape structure
are critical for the healthy functioning of plans, which define regional management
ecosystem services and therefore need objectives, requirements and measures in
protection; and mapping which areas can be more detail, as well as local landscape plans
developed, and under what conditions. The that show land use planning objectives.63
principles presented in the previous section
should inform the use of the following In South Africa, there is a strong emphasis on
planning tools. spatial planning at various levels. The country
also has a National Spatial Development
5.1 Plan on a tier of levels Perspective with guidelines for investment
in social and economic infrastructure. At the
While there is a need to plan across scales, the municipal level, an Integrated Development
focus here is on the regional scale because Plan incorporates a Spatial Development
ecosystems do not operate in isolation, but Framework. This range of levels presents
impact on a number of systems across a an opportunity to incorporate spatial
region. A wetland, for example, is affected information on biodiversity priorities across
by water usage and pollution upstream, so the spatial planning scales.64
the study area should be widened to the
regional level. 5.2 Plan on an efficient modular
basis that can be updated
An important element is to show the levels
at which a plan can be implemented most Landscape planning should be viewed as
effectively, and it is essential to view the a dynamic process that has to contend
interaction of the plans across levels or with continuously changing information. A
tiers.62 In Germany, for example, landscape modular approach allows for information
programmes are prepared for entire regions to be updated easily and efficiently, and


technology such as GIS is especially useful • Create a biodiversity map, either by

in this regard. Updating a module of hand using aerial photography or by
information quickly and connecting it to GPS (global positioning system).
other modules allows for a more rapid
response to changing circumstances and • Keep the biodiversity map regularly
requirements. updated.

The first step is to document and assess In undertaking the above, it is valuable and
what actually exists in a region. Biodiversity important to tap into indigenous knowledge
varies across the landscape and a spatial and to use other local experts who have a close
assessment of biodiversity should be done relationship with all or parts of the system.
at different levels - from national to regional
and local. A spatial biodiversity assessment Once the spatial information is mapped,
maps information about species, habitats and one has a clear idea of what areas are critical
ecosystems, protected areas, patterns of land for the functioning of ecosystem services
use, and possible future patterns of land and and so should be off limits to development.
resource use.65 The loss or degradation of habitat and
ecosystems is the biggest cause of loss of
The Local Action for Biodiversity Guidebook: biodiversity around the world. As a habitat is
Biodiversity Management for Local degraded, its functioning decreases, leading
Governments (ICLEI 2010) includes the to the collapse of the ecosystem and loss
following elements of biodiversity mapping: of the ecosystem services and associated
species. In South Africa, the National Spatial
• Do a desktop study of existing data Biodiversity Assessment (2004) based an
and biodiversity history, assessing ecosystem’s status on how much of its
biodiversity within the regional and original area remained intact relative to
national contexts. different thresholds. The threshold beyond
which an ecosystem became critically
• Map and compile information about the endangered varied from 16 to 36 per cent.
open spaces within the city and region,
as well as the corridors between them. In Germany, a landscape plan is used to
assess the existing condition of nature and
• Count and differentiate indigenous the landscape as a whole is assessed against
and alien species within the area. Do objectives. The BFN (2008) presents an
vegetation and animal surveys. exemplary structure of a landscape plan,
which includes:
• Quantify how biodiversity has changed
and possible reasons for this change. • Introduction (tasks and legal basis;
spatial scope; action and implementation
• Identify which species have become framework);
extinct in the defined area and why.
• Current uses and expected changes
• Identify and assess the ecosystem in use (human settlement; traffic;
services in the defined area, and identify agriculture; water management;
the areas critical to the continued leisure and recreation; fishing and
functioning of the ecosystem service. hunting, etc);

CHAPTER 4: Promoting a landscape mosaic spatial patternN

• Existing and expected condition of nature • Protection, management and development

and the landscape (characterization; fauna measures (protection management and
and flora; soil types, surface waters and development of parts of nature and
flood areas; groundwater; climate/air; the landscape; concepts of measures;
diversity, characteristic features and beauty); action proposals);

• Assessment of the existing and expected • Notes on implementation (priorities,

condition of nature and the landscape strategies, instruments and funding; public
(biodiversity function; natural yield participation; development programmes).
function; water resources functions; water
pollution protection function, etc); By anticipating future land uses, the landscape
plan aims to describe the effects of use on the
• Objective and development concept landscape and to classify them. The interaction
(objectives and spatial focuses); between future uses and the environment can
then be estimated and used by decision makers
when making strategic planning decisions.

Table 5.1: The co-benefits of ecosystem-based planning

Interventions Ecological Benefits Economic Benefits Equity Benefits

Protect large patches Conservation Encourages natural Access to natural

of natural areas of habitats and storm water drainage area, with associated
biodiversity; increased (less run off), cultural and
connectivity between which can save on recreational benefits
network of patches maintenance costs of
these systems as well
as costs associated
with disaster
management (floods)

Manage water Natural systems and Saves on costs of Natural environment

catchments habitats protected installing alternative is protected to the
water purification benefit of all; and
infrastructure residents get access
to clean water

Restore wildlife Increased species Short-term job Broad support for

movement corridors movement and creation life systems results
connectivity in better access to

Restore natural Restoration of Short-term job Access to natural

systems such as habitats; improved creation; possible area, with associated
rivers/wetlands (e.g. biodiversity ecosystem services cultural, economic
via a brownfield and ecosystem benefits (e.g. water and recreational
development) functioning purification) benefits


Interventions Ecological Benefits Economic Benefits Equity Benefits

Build roads close Reduces Saves on construction Non-motorised and

together (bundling of fragmentation of and service costs; public transport
infrastructure) natural areas and savings on the cost of prioritised; Improved
habitats; allows for the land infrastructure access.
animal bypasses at
a single point for
multiple transport

Remove unnecessary Increased connectivity Short-term job Land made available

roads separating between habitats creation; encouraging can be used for
or splitting large less car dependency public services
patches and more public and/ (recreational).
or non-motorised
transport (which
will reduce the
travelling cost for the
The land freed
up can be sold
or used for other
public services with
potential economic

Upgrade existing Slows the Saves on construction Opportunity to

roads rather than fragmentation of cost as well as on the prioritise non-
building new ones the landscape and cost of the land. motorised rights
habitats of way and public

CHAPTER 4: Promoting a landscape mosaic spatial patternN

Interventions Ecological Benefits Economic Benefits Equity Benefits

Prioritise dense, Protects the Time and cost savings Increases access to
compact city surrounding natural relating to travelling social, educational
development and landscape and for the individual and employment
directed growth systems; through enhanced opportunities
Reduces reliance on public transport given that higher
cars and fluctuating services and decreased thresholds are
oil prices and car dependency. achieved.
therefore has less of Harnesses urban Increases social
an impact on rural agglomeration inclusiveness and
and agricultural advantages (i.e. reduction of social
land and resource grouping of firms segregation through
consumption. because of access to designing quality
large labour pools, mixed-used areas
social network within walking
relationships and distance.
knowledge spillovers.
Encourages growth
away from natural
areas (i.e. steep slopes,
in floodplains) thus
reducing cost of disaster
recovery efforts.

Equity benefits require more detailed understanding but effectively these interventions will
protect the global and local commons.

Newcastle Upon Tyne Linköping
Randstad Berlin
Freiburg Zurich Zagreb
New York Barcelona Sofia Seoul
Isfahan Kitakyushu
Cairo Hangzhou
New Delhi

Nueva Vizcaya
Ouagadougou Bangkok

Medellín Lagos

Dar es Salaam
Rio de Janeiro
Curitiba Gauteng
Cape Town Newcastle
Quick Guide 1: Working with Nature
Quick Guide 2: Leveraging Density
Quick Guide 3: Optimising Infrastructure
Quick Guide 4: Clustering for Competitiveness

Case Studies

6.1. Towards mainstreaming urban In rapidly urbanizing cities, food security

agriculture into land use and the provision of food for a growing
planning in Dar es Salaam City, population is a crisis for urban dwellers
Tanzania and managers alike. The estimated annual
population growth of Tanzania was three per
Following droughts in the 1970s and 1980s, cent between 2005 and 2010, while that of
food security has been critical in Tanzania Dar es Salaam was 5 per cent, bringing the
and has prompted the government to population to an estimated 3.3 million in
pursue a “cultivate or perish” approach 2010. The challenge with urban agriculture
to food supply in both rural and urban has been guiding and regulating the largely
areas. At national and policy level, urban informal farming activities to avoid adverse
agriculture in Tanzania has been recognized health and environmental consequences to
as important for the availability of food in city dwellers and green spaces such as river
cities such as Dar es Salaam. In urban areas, valleys and wetlands.
government pronouncements favour urban
farming that allows households to be self- Urban agriculture has been encouraged and
sufficient in food production, and which, integrated into various policies and by-laws
to a certain extent, mitigates the effects in Tanzania, most notably in Dar es Salaam
of drought in food growing rural areas. In where it is now formally recognized as a land
Tanzania, urban agriculture is defined as use. While urban agriculture was recognized
those farming activities carried out in open as a potential land use in the 1979 Master
spaces in built-up and peripheral urban Plan of Dar es Salaam, its stipulation was
areas, and includes the keeping of livestock ineffectual. This was because the plan
such as dairy cattle, goats and chickens. included urban agriculture mostly in fragile
Urban agriculture has significantly developed areas such as flood-prone areas, hazardous
in Dar es Salaam in response to economic land and non-built up land especially in
hardships experienced in the 1980s, when the urban periphery. Demand for informal
it subsidized incomes and supplemented housing and a lack of enforcement to
sources of food at household level.66 prevent the encroachment of residential


developments into non-built up areas meant Development Plan and has been responsible
that the land was often subdivided for more for implementing the strategies outlined
profitable residential use instead of being in it. One strategy is the development and
used for farming. management of urban agriculture and,
with this in mind, a working group has
Around 90 per cent of Dar es Salaam’s been formed to develop an action plan for
vegetables are grown in open spaces and urban agriculture. The group comprises of
home gardens, with some sold to generate stakeholders from the Ministry of Lands
an income. City authorities, city residents and Human Settlements, Sustainable Dar
and other key stakeholders recognized the es Salaam Project, the regional agricultural
important role played by urban agriculture and livestock development officer; a city
in the economy of the city in generating veterinary officer and some members of
employment opportunities and providing the Association of Farmers and Pastoralists
access to food.67 As a result, it was officially who were involved in discussions to
included in Dar es Salaam’s Strategic Urban prepare the plan.
Development Plan (SUDP) in 1992. This
led to more concrete proposals and plans Several activities have been implemented,
relating to urban agriculture in the SUDP including:
and subsequent policies, building upon the
plan’s experiences. (i) The development of Urban Vegetable
Promotion Projects in designated
The Strategic Urban Development Plan districts of Dar es Salaam.
designates special land zones for different
types of agriculture (Figure 1). The plan (ii) Training and support for vegetable
assigns areas to be used in the future for and horticultural groups carrying out
large- and medium-scale urban agriculture farming activities in open spaces and
and includes development guidelines. Also, road reserves to facilitate income
vertical expansion (as opposed to horizontal generation opportunities and
expansion, which encroaches upon valuable temporarily protect such areas from
peri-urban land) is encouraged to free up invasion and dumping of waste.
land for urban agriculture and green spaces.
This is a significant departure from earlier Most of the sites for farming activities already
allocations of land for urban agriculture where existed as unused open-spaces, for example
vacant land meant for future uses was zoned institutional land. The working group
for such activities without any guidelines. The has provided support for training, group
proposed Dar es Salaam 2030 Master Plan strengthening, self-organization as well as
builds on the framework of the Strategic technical advice through agricultural extension
Urban Development Plan in its proposals officers employed by the Dar es Salaam
for urban agriculture activities. It identifies City Council. Identified projects have been
areas for different types of urban agriculture funded from external sources. For example,
and encourages the formulation of urban The Urban Vegetable Promotion Project,
agriculture strategies in each municipality, which ended in 2001, was funded by the
including the designation of areas (plots) of German Government through the Ministry
0.8-1.6 hectares for residents’ use. of Agriculture and Food Security.68 The
municipal councils have been responsible for
The Dar es Salaam City Council is providing personnel such as the agricultural
the custodian of the Strategic Urban extension officers. Municipal funding


limitations, particularly a shortage of funds This recognition of urban agriculture

for capacity building activities, make the through the above policies and actions has:
continuity of projects a challenge.
(i) Helped to protect open spaces (such
as slopes along river valleys and road
reserves) for use in urban agriculture,
rather than leaving it vulnerable to
the encroachment of houses and city

(ii) Improved the lives of both men and

women in Dar es Salaam due to the
additional income generated through
the sale of food crops. Dar es Salaam’s
urban producers supply an estimated
95,000 litres of milk, 6,000 trays of eggs,
and 11,000 kilograms of poultry to city
residents every day. This ready market is
a source for increases in income.69

Urban agriculture in Dar es Salaam city (iii) Urban farming was the second largest
© Dr Gina Cavan, University of Manchester employer engaging about 7 per cent of
the 3 million people in Dar es Salaam in
The zoning of urban agriculture land use, 2000.70
the establishment of working groups and
subsequent action plans for the development (iv) The use of open spaces and unbuildable
of urban farming have served to highlight land for urban agriculture (plants and
how critical urban agriculture is for food forests) has a positive impact on air
security and for the nation’s efforts to quality as well as on the aesthetics
alleviate poverty, particularly in urban areas. of the city. Well-maintained roadside
As a follow-up activity, the Sustainable Cities horticulture is pleasing to the eye.
International Network - Africa Programme
has facilitated the production of Municipal While special land zones were designated
Strategies of Urban Agriculture in the three for urban agriculture in the Strategic Urban
districts of Dar es Salaam. These have been Development Plan, these were in green
submitted to the ministry responsible for spaces and areas unsuitable for built-up
land use for approval, and are being followed development. When open spaces are used
up with Municipal Councils. Once Municipal for urban agriculture, it is temporary and the
Strategies have been approved, the Dar es farmer does not have any form of security
Salaam City Council plans to produce a city or permit, and can be evicted at short
wide strategy based on the identification notice. The Sustainable Cities International
of suitable land. Urban agriculture is also Network - Africa Programme is assisting
acknowledged in several policies such as the the municipalities in Dar es Salaam to
Draft National Agricultural Policy (2010), the lobby for secure land tenure by requesting
Draft Urban Development and Management the government to allocate land for urban
Policy (2010) and the National Human agriculture in the same way that land is
Settlements Development Policy (2000). allocated to residential developers.


Furthermore, since the activity is seen as have been known to use polluted sources
temporary by local authorities it is not for irrigation, raising public health concerns
strictly regulated and, farmers, for example, about the safety of the food products.

Figure 6.1: Catskill/Delaware Watershed Map

© City of New York and the NYC Department of Environmental Protection


6.2. Watershed management, New The timeline of the initiative spanned

York City, United States71,72 15 years, in which the Department of
Environmental Protection (DEP) and
New York City’s approach to ensuring its partner agencies developed and
supplies of clean water provides an excellent implemented the monitoring and protection
example of how ecosystem services can be programme. The Environmental Protection
embraced to save money on infrastructure. Agency (EPA) concluded the New York City
About 90 per cent of the water used in New Watershed Memorandum of Agreement
York City comes from the 1,800 square in 1993, but it was only signed in 1997 by
mile Delaware-Catskill watershed, a non- multiple stakeholders, including city and
filtrated water supply system consisting of 19 state bodies and environmental and public
reservoirs and three controlled lakes that are interest groups.
about 190 kilometres north of the city.
The signing finally came to fruition when
The key pressure that necessitated the the Environmental Protection Agency
initiative was the rising cost of filtration issued a five-year Filtration Avoidance
requirements for New York City’s drinking Determination and the city committed to
water supply, which serves nine million channelling USD 1,000 million over a decade
people daily from the Catskill-Delaware into remediating pollution sources and
watershed. The federal Safe Drinking Water promoting sustainable economic growth
Act requires filtration of drinking water in the watershed.74 In 2007, the Filtration
coming from all surface water sources in Avoidance Determination was extended
order to protect against waterborne disease. until 2017, cementing the success of the
This Act, a key driver for change, can be programme’s advances.
waived if a water system provides safe water
and is sustainably managed.73 Central to the issue of protection of the water
supply system is the question of sustainable
The facilities required to filter the city’s land management and its impact on a healthy
consumable water would have cost about watershed. Throughout the eastern half of
USD 8,000 million to build, and between the United States, forest land is frequently
USD 300 million and USD 400 million subdivided and converted to other uses by
each year to operate. To reach a more owners with differing land-use objectives.
cost-effective solution, the city purchased This phenomenon, known as parcelization,
land and subsidized best management has a negative impact on land stewardship
practices for the watershed over a 12-year capabilities and is also a significant driver of
period. This avoided the need for extensive landscape fragmentation.
filtration of its upstate water supply and
led to a reduction in project costs. Parcelization and fragmentation are both
major obstacles to sustainable forest
The city now invests USD 200 million a management, because forestry requires
year on a non-filtrated integrated water relatively large tracts of open space to remain
resources programme that manages land economically viable.75 Parcelization poses a
use in ways that help keep the water further threat to water quality, particularly in
supply clean and protect the watershed, the case where a forest is replaced by new
ensuring sustainable growth. It is now housing developments. In this case, nutrient
the largest unfiltered water supply in the loading occurs as a consequence of run-off
United States. from septic tanks, fertilizers, animal waste


and road salts. This is exacerbated by hard management programme offering free
landscaping of surfaces that are unable to leak detection and the installation of
absorb liquid wastes.76 water-saving plumbing devices such as
showerheads, taps, aerators, toilet tank
A key actor in rectifying the deteriorating displacement bags, and low-flow toilets.78
forest landscape scenario was the New York Water demand has reduced by almost one
State Department of Health, which, in 2007, and half a billion gallons per day with a
took over the authority for the Catskill- corresponding decrease in per capita
Delaware water supply system. The state demand from 187 to 125 gallons per day
department drew on financial resources and over the same time period.79
a broad knowledge base through stakeholder
involvement to launch programmes tasked Indirect successes of the programme’s
with protecting the watershed, and which urban sustainability measures include the
in practical terms qualified for a Filtration uplift in food production of community
Avoidance Determination (FAD). and school gardens and composting
programmes. Although not directly
The MOA’s goal to protect water quality relevant to the water catchment initiative,
and its economy was thus implemented via the initiative has provided community
an institutional framework of protection impetus to source underused properties
programmes such as PlaNYC 2030.77 Included used for urban agriculture conversions.
in the policy adjustments was the requirement This resulted in 129 new community
that the state-owned watershed area be gardens planted on New York City Housing
enlarged. This was enabled by the use of Authority land80 and the promotion of
brownfield sites and land-use conversions school gardens through a scheme called
through the acquisition of environmentally- Grow to Learn New York City. Fertilizer
sensitive land in the watershed by the voluntary use has been actively discouraged.
sale of land in exchange for fair market value.
The programme focuses on six aspects of The Watershed Protection Strategy measures
management, namely property management, the provision of clean, safe drinking water;
natural resources, recreational use, land manages a disease surveillance programme;
use permits, land acquisition assistance and encourages partnering with upstate farm
conservation easements. communities to reduce pollutants on
farmland (including the repair of septic
The initiative’s success in contributing to tank systems); and increases compliance
sustainable resource flows in the city is at sewage treatment plants. A formal
indicated by the city’s peer-reviewed source evaluation of the strategy indicates positive
water monitoring programme, which was results. Based upon the information collected
independently evaluated for water quality and through its monitoring and research efforts,
approved in 1997 by the National Research the Department of Environmental Protection
Council. Although the original motivation for has designed a comprehensive watershed
seeking an alternative water supply was driven protection strategy that focuses on
by economic constraints rather than ecological implementing both protective and remedial
drivers, the project was ultimately effective in initiatives.
contributing to urban sustainability.
For a drinking water system to qualify for
This is evident from large water-saving filtration avoidance under the Surface Water
measures made possible through a demand Treatment Rule (SWTR), the system cannot


be the source of a waterborne disease a city highlight visited by 90,000 pedestrians

outbreak and must meet source water daily, the restored river is a model for
quality limits for faecal coliform, turbidity urban renewal projects worldwide.
and total trihalomethane MCLs.81 The city
demonstrated that the Catskill/Delaware Throughout much of Seoul’s history, the
supply complied with these quantitative Cheonggyecheon was a polluted river prone
criteria. The New York State Department to frequent flooding, particularly after the
of Health now monitors the programme to deforestation of the surrounding area to fuel
assess both water quality and public health. economic development (Park 2004). The
response to the problem was to cover the river
The New York City watershed protection and, in 1961, to turn it into an arterial road.83
initiative demonstrates that it is possible to The rapid urbanization that followed prompted
meet both downstream water quality goals the building of an elevated highway above the
as well as upstream economic objectives covered river. This was completed in 1971.84
through voluntary partnerships of upstream
and downstream users, and through In 2000, the Korean Society of Civil Engineering
implementation of community based found that the road and elevated highway
watershed protection.82 The programme had severe structural problems that would cost
also shows that by protecting reservoirs approximately USD 95 million to fix.85 In addition,
and areas surrounding source waters it is downtown Seoul was experiencing serious
possible to supply water for a massive urban traffic congestion and poor air quality from
population without expensive filtration or the mass use of private vehicles, while public
chemical treatment. transport was in need of a thorough upgrade.86
Urban ecosystems had suffered considerable
Although the city was initially hesitant degradation during fast-paced industrialization
to relinquish control of the watershed’s and urbanization, and the city lacked green
management, on which the economic spaces for public recreation.87 There was also
success of the area depends, responsibilities concern about socio-economic inequality: while
were delegated as a result of feedback development had taken place on the south side
received in participatory processes. Key of the Cheonggyecheon, the north side had
to the success of this initiative was thus become uncompetitive and dilapidated.88
extensive stakeholder involvement
and ensuing stakeholder confidence Rather than repair the highway, the Seoul
through the recognition of sustainable Metropolitan Government decided to
economic development and community restore the river, using it as an opportunity
management, a result ultimately made to address several of these problems at
possible by adherence to the core principles the same time.89 The restoration project
of the implemented policy reforms. was thus intended to recover the flow of
the river, to reintroduce biodiversity to the
6.3. Replacing highways with rivers: area, and create a space where people and
Seoul’s Cheonggyecheon River nature could interact.90 The project would
Restoration Project also rehabilitate significant historical and
cultural sites, create a centre for business
Between 2003 and 2005, an elevated and finance and uplift the area. It would
highway covering Seoul’s Cheonggyecheon also restore the balance of development
River was demolished to improve the area’s between north and south Seoul.91 Designers
environmental and aesthetic condition. Now intended it to be a symbol of the city’s


“21st Century Advanced Era” identity.92 The The project design promotes walking and
project entailed demolishing the highway, cycling, while traffic flow to the city centre
restoring the river and creating a 5.84 km has been improved through one-way
park on either side totalling about 1,000 roads and designated bus-only lanes.101
acres.93,94 The bus service was upgraded through
a switch to travel cards for payment, a
The project began in July 2003 and was centralized logistics control system and
completed in October 2005. It cost Seoul an effective transfer system between
USD 367 million, and social costs were main routes and feeder routes. Hours
valued at USD 1,900 million, but the project of operation were extended and service
is expected to deliver USD 3,500 million frequency increased to make the service
worth of social benefits.95,96 more useful. The subway system was also
improved through similar measures. The
city has discouraged parking in the central
area by raising parking fees and clamping
down on illegal parking, and campaigns
encourage commuters to leave their cars
at home for one day a week.

The project was led by Seoul Metropolitan

Government, championed by Lee Myung-
Bak, Seoul’s mayor at the time and now
the country’s president.102 The planning
and execution of the project was the
collective effort of the Implementation
Centre (part of the Seoul Metropolitan
Government), the Citizens’ Committee, and
the Research Support Group from the Seoul
Development Institute (sponsored by the
Seoul Metropolitan Government).103
A long park runs on both sides of the restored
Cheonggyecheon stream Social sustainability has been improved
© Wikipedia/2007 madmarv00 through an increase in quality of life:
citizens now have green public spaces
The river was restored in three sections where they can meet socially, exercise,
differentiated by urban, urban-natural, and participate in traditional festivals and
natural landscaping areas.97 Curves and enjoy cultural events. The project inspired
irregularities in the river provide suitable the creation of an informal “knowledge
conditions for fish, and swamp areas offer community” to discuss issues relating to
a habitat for wildlife. An ecological park the Cheonggyecheon and recommend
and continuous green belt encourages solutions.104 The public now have access
human interaction with nature.98 Two of to valuable educational resources through
the old historical bridges, the Gwanggyo their renewed contact with nature, restored
and the Supyogyo, have been restored,99 historical sites and the Cheonggyecheon
and traditional cultural activities such as Museum.105
the lantern festival and bridge stepping
on Supyogyo Bridge are being revived.100


Ecological sustainability has also improved. Cheonggyecheon Citizens Committee and

Fossil fuel use has been reduced by the Research Support Group during planning.
removing about 170,000 cars from the
artery each day, improving public transport, Despite its overwhelming success, there are a
and creating pleasant pedestrian routes few criticisms about the project. Those with
to encourage walking.106 This has also visual impairments and mobility problems
led to reduced air and noise pollution in complain that they have difficulty accessing
the city.107 Specifically, small-particle air the stream.115 Lifts and free wheelchairs
pollution in the area has fallen from 74 to have been provided at seven locations, but
48 micrograms per cubic metre.108 High the minority feel indignant that their needs
city temperatures have decreased by up to were not included at the design stage.116
5?C due to reduced traffic, the proximity Some people have criticized the project’s
of cool water, and a 50 per cent increase in ecological authenticity and cost, especially
average wind speeds following the removal since water must be pumped from a nearby
of the highway.109 The restoration has re- river and groundwater reserves to keep the
established lost habitats and, as a result, Cheonggyecheon flowing all year round.117
the number of fish species has increased These critics have called for a more expansive
from 4 to 25, bird species from 6 to 36, ecological and historical restoration that
and insect species from 15 to 192.110 The includes the entire Cheonggyecheon basin
river has also helped to improve Seoul’s and ecological system.118 Finally, rising
resilience to climate change because the property prices due to the urban renewal
open river is better able to cope with have caused concern that local inhabitants
flooding than buried sewers.111 may soon be unable to afford to live and
work in the area.119
Economic benefits can be seen in an
increase in the number of businesses and The success of the Cheonggyecheon River
employment density within 1.2 km of the Restoration Project and the pleasure it
Cheonggyecheon corridor.112 Property prices gives Seoul’s citizens has inspired similar
have also increased at double the rates projects around the world.120 Cities in
found elsewhere in the city.113 Single-family Japan, Singapore and the United States
residential units are now more likely to are recovering streams from storm drains,
convert to high-rise residential, commercial- acknowledging the significant contribution
retail, and mixed units.114 of a well-planned urban green belt to social,
ecological and economic sustainability.121
Though the lack of private sector and non-
governmental organization involvement 6.4 Striving towards sustainable
may be seen as an “imbalance of power” development through a mosaic
in other contexts, the Seoul Metropolitan of land use patches and corridors:
Government’s dominant role (and support Hangzhou, China 122, 123, 124
from Lee Myung-Bak) was key to the project’s
success. As a result, restoration plans were The city of Hangzhou is the capital of
coherent and achieved a significant level of Zhejiang, one of the most developed
integration. Implementation time was also provinces in China. The history of Hangzhou
relatively short due to fewer administrative dates back 2,200 years when it was one
challenges. Also contributing to the of seven capitals of ancient China and was
success were the strong ties and shared famed for its natural and cultural charms.
agenda of the Metropolitan Government, The city is regarded as one of the most


important economic, cultural, educational to urban development, within a context

and tourist destination points in the Yangtze of insufficient land use management.
Delta region. Consequently, the close interrelationship
between the ecological system, historic city
Hangzhou’s urban population was estimated and cultural assets has deteriorated and
at 6.6 million and its total population was social conflicts have increased. In response,
estimated at 7.5 million in 2005 and they the city and provincial authorities prepared
were projected to reach 7.15 million and the Hangzhou Master Plan, the Hangzhou
8.15 million respectively by 2010. This was Urban Forestry Plan and the Hangzhou
an increased level of urbanization from 62 Grand Master Plan to guide the future
per cent to 70 per cent over that period. development of this ancient city.
The projected population by the year 2020
for the urban area was 8.2 million and the The Hangzhou Master Plan (1981-2000) was
total projected population was 9.3 million. It initiated by the State Council in 1983 and
was anticipated that the population growth was aimed at guiding urban development,
will increase the level of urbanization to 84 improving urban functions and promoting
per cent by 2020. These projections contrast economic and social development. The city’s
with the period 1949 to 2002, which had an area increased from 683 km2 to 3,068 km2,
average annual population increase of only the urban core increased by 7 times and the
0.8 per cent per annum. The rapid urban peri-urban area expanded by 4.5 times in the
growth has put pressures on the ancient city period from 1988 to 2004. The State Council
and its rural and agricultural hinterland. The and the Ministry of Construction therefore
city’s growth and its dynamic and evolving mandated an update of the Master Plan
peri-urban areas have been accompanied and the Overall Urban Plan for Hangzhou
by urban sprawl, which has led to the rapid (2001-2020) was prepared. The Hangzhou
conversion of natural and agricultural land Master Plan (2001-2020) was framed within

Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal © He Youjun, Li Zhiyong, Yang Jianjun


the goals of economic prosperity, cultural to guide urban development and safeguard
conservation and ecological sustainability the city’s ecosystems and associated
with the aim of developing a sustainable biodiversity hotspots.
city that is “prosperous, harmonious, well-
equipped and ecological”. The protection Urban conservation interventions included
of the historical and cultural cityscape of protecting the basic structure of the
the ancient city and its integration with the historic city, limiting the width of roads and
natural landscape was emphasized. This limiting the height, massing and colour of
included the historic streets, and historic, surrounding buildings. The city’s disaster
underground cultural relics, religious, ethnic prevention system uses the green open
and cultural sites, ancient trees, folk arts and system to prevent natural disasters, for
traditional place names. Components of the example flood control, protection against
Master Plan include a central urban centre, tide and precaution against earthquakes.
three sub-centres, six eco-corridors, the Actions to conserve the natural systems
urban forest and the central Grand Canal. and promote biodiversity include protection
of the cloud-capped hills and mountain
The Hangzhou Urban Forestry Master areas of northwest Yuhang and hilly areas
Plan was initiated in response to rapid of southern Xiaoshan, as well as protecting
urbanization, a decline in wetland areas and the urban water resources of the Qiantang
the degrading of the ecological and cultural and Shao rivers. Other interventions include
functions of the natural landscape. The establishing suburban forest parks, water
Forestry Plan was based on the principle of reservation areas, wetland reserves and the
establishing forests in the city and allowing development of green belts along rivers,
the city to embrace the forest. The Forestry streams and roads. The city promotes the
Plan aimed to protect farmland, safeguard use of clean energy through mandatory
the interests of farmers and promote energy-saving design standards. Efforts have
sustainable food cultivation measures that also made to improve the city’s air quality
result in high quality produce. by reducing the usage of coal through the
promoting the efficiency of fuel gas. Other
The Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal actions include setting targets for emissions
originates in Beijing and ends in Hangzhou reduction from power plants and vehicles
and is regarded as the most important as well as the control and treatment of the
transportation route in both ancient and waste from industrial gas. Measures were
contemporary China. The transportation introduced to reduce noise from traffic,
function of the canal declined in recent construction and other sources. Action also
times with the development of the highway includes improving the management of solid
system. Many factory and warehouse waste and actively advocating no waste or
buildings along the canal became deserted less waste processing.
and low quality residential buildings
have developed. Cities along the canal Grand Canal Preservation implementation
launched a collective effort to preserve the measures included improvement of
Grand Canal and apply for World Cultural infrastructure facilities to prevent water
Heritage status. pollution of the canal, and the preservation
of the traditional historical features along
The city’s resultant land use pattern is a the canal sides. An estimated one kilometre
mosaic of patches and corridors and this in width on both sides of the canal was
provides a consistent and clear framework included in the preservation area, totalling


an area of 38 km2, excluding the water market-led urban development before 2004
surface. Other interventions included (the area was reduced from 60 km2 to 10
redevelopment of industrial buildings, roads km2) and this led to the rapid decline of the
and residential complexes. wetland and degradation of the ecological,
cultural and landscape functions. In 2003,
Implementation of the Forestry Master the municipal committee and the municipal
Plan resulted in more space for expansion government established the Comprehensive
of the urban forests into the city, improved Protection Project with the explicit aims of
management of the urban forest ecosystems halting wetland loss and degradation. The
and improved overall health of the forests. Comprehensive Protection Project included
This initiative included international restoration of degraded wetlands and the
cooperation between state forestry agencies creation of new wetland areas with a specific
in China, Denmark, Finland and Estonia. emphasis on demonstrating the cultural
This strengthened the capacity of Hangzhou significance of the landscape. In 2009,
foresters and policy decision-makers through Hangzhou hosted the first China Wetlands
sharing and learning from European urban Cultural Festival, which formally marked the
forestry and greening practices. The West Lake significant progress made in protecting and
Scenic Area was protected and this included restoring the wetland cultural landscape.
conservation of the natural environment
and the relocation of pollutant-discharging The Zhuantang area is one of six ecological
factories to less critical areas. Interventions belts in the city and is important for its
in three areas, namely Xixi, Zhuantang and role in tourism, as a source of drinking
Bingjiang, show different responses to the water, for its agricultural products and for
challenges of peri-urbanization. the preservation of the natural landscape.
Strategies to conserve the area include
Hangzhou was declared a National Forest severe restrictions on development, the
City and its Xixi wetland was listed as establishment of the Zhijiang National
a Wetland of International Importance Tourism Resort and the development of the
under the Ramsar Convention in 2009.The College of Visual Art, rural tea houses and
Xixi Wetland Park was under threat from home inns.

Figure 6.2: Zhuantang area

1 9 8 8 1 9 9 8 2004

Source: Urban Forestry and Nature protection for Sustainable Urban Growth: Hangzhou PLUREL
Case study region. He Youjun, Li Zhiyong, Yang Jianjun, Oct 2010, Copenhagen, Denmark


Figure 6.3: Bingjiang area

1 9 8 8 1 9 9 8 2004

Source: Urban Forestry and Nature protection for Sustainable Urban Growth: Hangzhou PLUREL
Case study region. He Youjun, Li Zhiyong, Yang Jianjun, Oct 2010, Copenhagen, Denmark

Challenges in the Bingjiang area included services and the need to strive towards
rapid urbanization, industrial development, more sustainable resource use. This could be
inaccessible green spaces along roads and achieved through actions such as increasing
the interests of farmers. Actions within renewable energy flows, recycling of waste
these areas include the development of and pollution reduction. The most effective
high-tech industry, development of the outcomes of the master planning process
White Horse Lake eco-culture-creative town were the restoration of the cultural and historic
and improvement of residential construction aspects of the city and the protection of the
and infrastructure. interest of farmers through the development
and implementation of a broad strategy
The preparation of an overall master plan, for modernizing the city. The Hangzhou
followed by the more detailed urban forestry case study demonstrates how sustainable
plan and the canal preservation plan, within development can secure ecological systems,
the context of rapid urbanization, provided protect cultural and historic assets and
consistency between the different strategies plan for rapid urban growth. It also shows
and plans used. This enabled linkage and co- how cultural assets embedded within the
ordination of planning and implementation ancient city and the rural lifestyle of its peri-
of the various plans as well as for timing and urban residents can be integrated within the
different stages of development. The master planning of a modern city.
planning approach strived to achieve a balance
between the need to protect farmland, conserve 6.5 “StEP Klima” - The ecological
ecological and culturally important areas and utility of green-spaces in the
allow for urban development. Effective planning context of climate change,
strategies included urban forestry to promote Berlin, Germany
greening of urban areas; conservation of the
Beijing Hangzhou Grand Canal; the protection Berlin has already taken measures to adapt to
and promotion of the Xixi and the Zhuantang the unavoidable demands of climate change.
ecological areas; and balancing urban growth The city is vigorously attempting to anticipate
between the core city and the peri-urban the local impacts and help Berlin adopt modes
areas. The city recognized the important of sustainable development whose ultimate goal
connections between ecosystems and urban is to safeguard the quality of life of its citizens.


Like all other large cities, Berlin must develop the Technical University of Berlin. The results
and implement adaptation strategies with were made available in readily accessible
respect to climbing average temperatures, language and expanded into a plan of action
the increase in extended periods of extreme by the Senate Department. This plan of action
heat in the summer months, and changes in pinpointed current city building projects that,
the overall levels and seasonal variation in in the short-term, might contribute to the
precipitation. Due to the density of building, city’s agreed-upon climate-change adaptation
the formation of urban “heat islands” has measures. The “StEPKlima” was passed by
already had discernible negative effects the Senate in May 2011 and is binding for
on public health. In the future, additional decision makers and planning authorities.
areas of the city are likely to be effected by However, the plan is not a definitive blueprint,
such conditions. An expected decrease in but is a point of departure in the discussion
summer rainfall will lead to stresses on the process between various actors in the city, all
vegetation in Berlin’s urban parks and green of whom must ultimately harbour the goal
spaces, endangering their vital contributions of keeping the city liveable. This process of
to recreation, biodiversity, and their role in communication and participation within
mitigating the effects of urban heat. various planning departments, regions of
the city and the citizenry is currently carried
The overriding goal of the “StEPKlima” out by the Senate Department for Urban
(StadtentwicklungsplanKlima Berlin - City Planning through open meetings, informative
Climate Development Plan)125 is to prepare for gatherings, canvassing of public opinion,
climate change. The Senate Department for and negotiations. From the start, the intent
Urban Development commissioned a scientific was to disseminate knowledge so that the
analysis of the consequences of climate change necessary planning decisions could be made
and the identification of areas needing urgent and conflicts resolved.
attention, along with recommendations for
the appropriate measures to be taken, from In order to contribute cogently to Berlin’s
urban development, the creation of the
“StEPKlima” took ecological, economic
and social issues into consideration. In
investigating the value of urban green
spaces, reference was continually made to
the comprehensive and frequently updated
data of Berlin’s digital Environmental
Information System. Detailed information
on the environmental contributions made
by soil, water, air, climate, biotope, land use,
transportation, noise, and energy, along
with their functions and environmental
value, were made available to city and
landscape planners, politicians, and
interested citizens.126 The materials of the
Environmental Information System were
made available in English for the benefit of
other cities. With the help of these data the
effects of climate change can be studied,
Berlin-Tiergarten park © UN-Habitat/Andrew Rudd as can the contributions of green spaces


to urban cooling. Specific information Tempelhof Airport was closed to air traffic
can be accessed about the availability of in 2008. Its 386 hectares are situated in the
public, near-residential green spaces and middle of a densely populated residential
recreational areas,127 the climatic benefits area, which has a lower-than-average
of existing zones,128 and ground water store of recreational areas. Since 2010,
conditions within the city.129 With respect to the former airfield has been a public open
social considerations, demographic studies space. The public’s use of the landing strips
can be referenced that show, for example, and adjacent fields has been overwhelming.
the future density of elderly people, a group Diverse groups gather here for their leisure
particularly susceptible to the adverse effects activities such as kite-flying, inline skating,
of extreme heat.130 jogging, cycling, or picnicking on the
abundant grass. This vibrant interest shows
how intense the need is for restorative urban
green spaces and parks. While the margins
of the airfield will be developed for housing
purposes, a green space of some 220 ha
will be retained as a climatological offset
and recreational area. Various proposals
are currently being discussed with regard to
Tegel Airport. Whether the area will become
an industrial site, given over to apartment
buildings, dedicated to green space for
leisure and the lessening of climate impacts,
or a combination of uses will be strenuously

Berlin-Tempelhof park, April 2012 The “StEPKlima” has already demonstrated

© Wikipedia/A.Savin the significance of existing urban green
spaces and parks for the improvement of
Berlin’s renewed economic growth has climactic conditions, for centrally placed
brought with it new jobs and the building leisure opportunities, for the protection of
of additional housing units, which, in turn, water resources, and for the maintenance
has increased pressures on remaining open of habitat for animals and plants. The
spaces. The economic interests of Berlin are ecological benefits that derive from the
tied up in construction and in the fostering largest park in the city, the Tiergarten,
of an increased population density, and provide a model for future planning and
these factors are taken into consideration in argue for the safeguarding of green spaces.
current planning for the large undeveloped These areas play a key role in adaptation to
areas remaining in the city. The largest of the negative effects of climate change and
these are the inner-city airports Tempelhof to the improvement of living conditions
and Tegel, which will become redundant with in the city. To be sure, the integrity of the
the upcoming opening of the international Tiergarten is legally secured. But this single
Berlin-Brandenburg Airport. The repurposing green space is not sufficient to satisfy the
of these former airports can play a crucial ecological needs demanded by a city of
role in sustainable development in the city. some 3.5 million inhabitants.


An aerial view of Cape Town CBD from Table Mountain, showing some of the natural assets that
make it such a popular city © Blake Robinson, 2009

The overwhelming support for the The significance of urban green spaces and
“StEPKlima” among city planners, politicians parks for public health and the maintenance
and citizens demonstrates the general of important ecological functions were
recognition of the ecological benefits analysed in detail by the “StEPKlima”.
of the city’s green spaces. Acceptance The authors investigated not only the
of the importance of these spaces has contributions of individual green spaces
been strengthened through the political to the improvement of the urban climate,
ratification of the plan, which provides but also the extent to which these areas
guidelines for climate-adapted housing and their vegetation would be impacted
and industrial developments, and which by the effects of climate change. This
will have to be considered by the various project could be undertaken so quickly
interests competing for the city’s green because of the comprehensive and up-to-
space. Future planning decisions must be date data available from the Environmental
oriented towards climate-based standards. Information System. These factual resources
That the necessity of climate adaptation has were expanded by studies of demographic
found a broad resonance across the urban developments, transportation, and future
community is witnessed by an initiative water supply. Now the city has many of the
of the Berlin Chamber of Industry and tools necessary to secure the sustainability
Commerce to retrofit large urban industrial of its future building development.
estates in accordance with the requirements
of adaptation. Public interest meetings and Since adaptive measures cannot be
discussion forums where the “StEPKlima” implemented by government alone
has been presented show that many citizens (especially in light of limited public budgets),
rate the goals of sustainable development all citizens and institutions of the city must
in the context of climate change as urgent. contribute. For this reason the “StEPKlima”


is not to be viewed as a rigid template for the degradation of urban natural assets
future planning, but rather as a source of impedes on the ability of the municipality to
technical information for a comprehensive deliver services in a cost-effective way.
city wide dialogue between planners,
politicians, economic interests and citizens. Municipal budget allocations are heavily
This participatory process is meant to be contested in Cape Town, especially
an intermediate step in the dissemination because of often urgent and competing
of knowledge about the consequences development needs, such as housing,
of climate change and to foster public education and health care. Arguments
acceptance of the necessity to adapt to to preserve the environment have
these developments. With its Environmental traditionally not focused on the financial
Information System and “StEPKlima”, Berlin logic of investing in natural assets. The
has solidly prepared itself in a timely fashion rationale for this study was specifically to
for the coming transformation of the city’s develop a financially motivated business
environmental conditions. case for investing in natural assets in
the city. The focus of the overall project
6.6 Valuation of ecosystem services was to influence budget allocations by
in Cape Town, South Africa developing focused economic arguments
for investing, maintaining and expanding
Cape Town boasts enviable natural assets the city’s natural assets.
including world-class mountains, beaches,
green open spaces, wetlands and marine life all The city’s Environmental Management
within the limits of a bustling metro of roughly Department drew up terms of reference for
3.6 million people. The city has a relatively well- consultants to make a case for increased
diversified economy and is a world-renowned spending on natural asset management. The
tourism destination. In addition, it enjoys the study was done over a 4-year period – 1.5 years
status of a global biodiversity hotspot thanks of preparatory work by the department,
to its location in the Cape Floristic Kingdom 1.5 years of data collection, analysis and
(the smallest of six floristic regions worldwide reporting, and 1 year of dissemination to
with almost 9,000 plant species, 70 per cent city managers and senior staff, external
of which are endemic). stakeholders such as universities and other
research institutions as well as to some
Cape Town’s natural assets are NGOs and conservation groups.
under pressure primarily from land
transformation, pollution and aggressive Three aspects characterize this study, namely,
alien invasive plant species. They need the continued engagement with senior city
increased investment and management managers, the single focus on a financial
effort if they are to continue contributing argument, and the use of a consulting team
towards the city’s economy. experienced in business, economics and
ecosystem services, who were willing to run an
The municipality has considered reinvesting intensive participation process with all relevant
more of the proceeds of its growth into city departments throughout the study.
maintaining the natural assets. There are
good reasons for doing this. First, natural A first phase of engagement between
assets produce a flow of goods and services environmental and finance managers in
that has value for people living in and visiting the city defined mutually shared terms of
Cape Town. A second related reason is that reference focused on making a business


case for investing in natural assets. The were the regulation of natural hazards,
concept that an ecological infrastructure, recreation and tourism, water purification
like any other infrastructure, supports and waste treatment/assimilation, space for
economic activity and social wellbeing was biota and aesthetic values/sense of place.
accepted early in the process.. The success
of early phase internal work ensured that The focus of the study was to make a
consultants wasted no time and resources business case for investing in natural
building critical inter-departmental linkages. assets.131 Better resource use or less pollution
are not direct measurable outcomes of such
During the processes of data collection a study, but can be an indirect impact as
and analyses, every department in the city increased budget allocations to invest in
impacting on or responsible for the city’s natural assets become a reality. The initiative
natural assets were invited and engaged, was successful in calculating the benefits
including managers of environmental of select ecosystem services to Cape
resources, parks, tourism, heritage, sports Town’s inhabitants and visitors, conveying
and recreation, wastewater, storm water, the message that the benefits associated
solid waste and spatial planning. Selected with natural assets are not for free. The
managers and/or senior staff from these initiative was also prominently referred to
departments were interviewed to compile in a TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems
an inventory of the ecosystem goods and and Biodiversity) manual on how to include
services produced by the city’s natural ecosystem services in urban management.132
capital, and to identify the groups of people
who were benefiting from these goods and With the case having been made for
services. For the purposes of the consultation investing in such natural assets to maintain
process all open-space natural or semi- and expand such a flow of economically
natural areas (for example, floodplains, valuable services, the next question was
wetlands, city parks, sandy beaches or rocky where to source the funding to do so. Many
beaches) were included when referring to ecosystem goods and services can be enjoyed
natural and semi-natural environments. simultaneously by the city’s inhabitants and
visitors (think, for example, about clean air
The consultants then developed a and scenic views). This does not create an
methodology that included an economic immediate incentive for private investors
approach to valuing ecosystem goods and to invest in and maintain such services
services. A process was followed that valued because the economic gains do not flow
input from city managers and staff on the directly back to investors. Because everyone
relative importance of environmental goods benefits from ecosystem goods and services,
and services (EGS) to beneficiaries, the the relevant authorities who are custodians
linkage to the city’s development objectives, of the public good have a role in investing
the city’s ability to influence the value of and maintaining such services. Where
EGS through management, and the risks such services do benefit private agents as
associated with continued provision of well, it will only be fair for private agents
environmental goods and services. A short- to contribute to the maintenance of such
list of environmental goods and services services.
prioritized for further economic valuation
was created in a workshop with city officials. This is not very different from the investment
The five services that were ranked with and maintenance of other utilities -
highest relative importance for valuation municipalities invest in infrastructure and


the provision of services and those who support would help to raise credibility and
benefit (households, industries, tourists) pay to focus the effort.
through mechanisms such as tariffs, property
rates and charges. Where social objectives It was also realized early in the project that
need to be achieved, for example the roll- one can have a well-presented argument,
out of services to the poor, national and/or but this will have little impact if it is not
provincial government also contributes. heard, understood and acted upon. Different
communication products were developed to
Internally, the study did set the stage for a more support a communications strategy, namely, a
informed debate between departments on 270-page technical report, a 7-page summary
using investment in natural assets as a means document for decision-makers, several half
to save on expensive operational costs. One page core messages designed for different
specific example is an agreement between audiences, and PowerPoint presentations for
the roads and the environment departments city managers and researchers.
to invest in dune stabilization rather than in
expensive cleaning of sand from roads in certain Despite these efforts, recent feedback suggests
areas. A broader initiative following from the that continuing threats to the implementation
study is to design a ring-fenced and publicly of Environmental Fiscal Reform in the city come
accountable environmental fund dedicated from some politicians, who argue that any
to investing in municipal green infrastructure. additional tax or tariff negatively impacts on
At the time of writing (November 2011) the the voter base. There are also some city leaders
discussion on how to generate revenue for who still perceive investing in natural assets
such a fund was still ongoing.133 as incompatible with the objectives of job
creation and economic growth.135 Although
The initiative gained a lot from a focused effort the study did recognize the limitations of
early in the process to build inter-departmental making a business case alone, the urgency of
linkages, especially between departments implementing a well-designed and relevant
responsible for finance and environmental communications strategy is becoming more
resources. This culminated in clear terms of and more evident.
reference for the consulting team and a high
amount of social capital present in the steering 6.7 Magat Watershed -
committee of the project. A co-management approach in
Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines
The initiative also provided a good
foundation for the further development of The Magat watershed was characterized by
environmental fiscal reform strategies in continuous degradation of forest resources,
the city. However, one thing that should erosion and marginalization of forestlands,
have been done differently was to have and land use conflicts resulting from
expanded the brief from the start from unsustainable practices and diverse uses of
making a business case alone, to one watershed products and services. Traditional
that included developing a strategy for watershed management, which included
the implementation of Environmental standard tree planting programmes, contract
Fiscal Reform (EFR) - taxation and pricing reforestation and selective logging, was met
measures raising revenue while advancing by a “traditional people response” - i.e.,
environmental goals - in the city.134 City weak, indifferent and, thus, unsustainable
staff are now developing an outline of such - because it lacked real incentives and
a programme, but realize that external tangible benefits. With the failure of the


traditional approach, the local government 7160) in 1991, which handed over to the
units (LGUs) of Nueva Vizcaya, together local government units environmental
with the Department of Environment and management functions of the central
Natural Resources (DENR), developed the government. At the provincial level, the
first watershed co-management model in Department of Environment and Natural
the country. In February 1998, this approach Resources devolved the enforcement of
was piloted in the Lower Magat Forest forestry laws in community-based projects.
Reserve (LMFR). The provincial government At the municipal level, the department
and the Department of Environment and devolved management and control of
Natural Resources forged a Memorandum of communal forests with an area not
Agreement (MOA) for 25 years (renewable exceeding 5,000 ha.
for another 25 years) with individuals,
associations, cooperatives and corporations. The Lower Magat Forest Reserve was
This agreement, which specifies limited managed through a traditional reforestation
agricultural cultivation and harvesting rights, project until 1989.137 It covers 21
is based on the Department of Environment barangays1 in two municipalities (Bagabag
and Natural Resources - Department of and Diadi), home to just over 19,000 people
Interior and Local Government (DILG) Joint in 2000. Before the co-management and
Memorandum Circular No. 98-01 entitled the new LGU-DENR alliance, the reserve
“Manual of Procedures for DENR-DILG-LGU was fraught with illegal logging, rampant
Partnership on Devolved and other Forest firewood gathering and charcoal making,
Management Functions”. unregulated commercial ranching, frequent
forest fires, influx of landless people (illegal
The goals of the co-management initiative occupants) engaged in destructive land uses
in the Lower Magat Forest Reserve are and increasing population pressure that led
to:136 (1) develop and mobilize sustainable to land resource use conflicts.138
local government units and Department of
Environment and Natural Resources-driven The Lower Magat Forest Reserve
support services to protect, develop and Memorandum of Agreement provides the
manage the 24 251 hectares forestland legal framework to operationalize the co-
areas. They will do this by encouraging and management of the Magat watershed,
promoting environmentally-sound forestland which is legally consistent with basic
and nature-based enterprises; (2) implement national policies. The agreement takes as
community-based forest management its context the realities and environmental
approaches with strong private sector imperatives in the forest reserve.139 As a
participation in the protection, development customized feature and centrepiece of the
and management of the reserve; (3) increase agreement, the provincial governor (as
and sustain the supply of food, wood, water, head of the Steering Committee) and the
and fibre through the proper allocation of Department of Environment and Natural
management of forestlands; and (4) uplift the Resources (as co-chair) enter into sub-
socio-economic conditions of communities in agreements with legitimate occupants for
the reserve. stewardship of any portion of the reserve.
These sub-agreements provide order and
The active role of the provincial government stability to former “open access” areas,
in this watershed management initiative which constitute the largest portion of the
can be traced back to the passage of the reserve and the main sources of land and
Local Government Code (Republic Act resource use conflicts.140


Figure 6.4: Organizational structure of Lower Magat Forest Management Office


DENR, DA, Prov’l. Tourism, Prov’l. Tourism, Academe (SMU, NVSU),
DOST, DIADI LGU Bagabag LGU, PLO, MPDOs of Bagabag and Diadi


Field Operation Manager

Project Coordinator


Source: Tolentino 2011. Nueva Vizcaya Experience on Co-Management. Presentation Notes.

Regional Environment and Natural Resources Office, Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines

This arrangement provides opportunities to provincial non-government organization

the private sector, cooperatives and even federation. The Department of Environment
government agencies for the protection, and Natural Resources and Nueva Vizcaya
development and management of any contributed personnel to the LMFMO and
portion of the reserve under a similar sub- the municipalities of Diadi and Bagabag each
agreement for a period of 25 years.141 Other contributed one person to the project office.
key features of the arrangement are the The relatively simple structure avoids the rigid
flexibility and autonomy shared between bureaucratic processes and promotes more
the Department of Environment and effective and responsive management.143
Natural Resources and local government
units in co-managing the forest reserve in The Department of Environment and Natural
accordance with some annual work plans. Resources appropriates funds for research
Figure 2 shows the organizational structure in forest production and management
of the Lower Magat Forest Management and ensured the transfer of technologies
Office (LMFMO) created by Sangguniang to the forest reserve management office,
Panlalawigan Resolution No. 98-138 to communities and individual upland
implement and monitor work plans.142 farmers, while the provincial government
The steering committee is chaired by the provides the operating budget. The LMFMO
governor and co-chaired by the regional ensures the maximum participation of
executive director of the Department legitimate upland farmers, claimants, and
of Environment and Natural Resources. indigenous people in the suballocation and
The members include municipal mayors of management of forestlands. It explores
Bagabag and Diadi, the provincial environment workable and beneficial institutional and
and natural resources officer (PENRO), Nueva business arrangements with government
Vizcaya Chamber of Commerce and the agencies such as the National Irrigation


Administration, Department of Tourism, initiative may not be far off in claiming that
Department of Agriculture, Department it has helped in reduction of poverty.149
of Trade and Industry, National Power Official statistics show that Nueva Vizcaya’s
Corporation, and other public and private poverty incidence declined substantially in
organizations.144 2003 to 9.2 per cent from 2000 (16.5 per
cent) but rose again although at a lower
While the Lower Magat watershed level in 2006 at 12.7 per cent. Statistics
management experience has been labelled for 2003 show that Bagabag has 17.4
a success, there is a caveat. At present, per cent and Diadi, 27.9 per cent150
evidence of the initiative’s success may be poverty incidence, both higher than the
anecdotal and largely based on data from average for the province. It is possible
the records of the LMFMO and reports by that the poverty reduction impact may
its officers, which may need to be verified yet be realized since the co-management
and complemented by interviews with the initiative started only in 1998. The lack of
benefiting partners.145 As of September municipal level poverty data before 2003
2009, or halfway through the 25-year makes it difficult to determine if the 2003
Memorandum of Agreement, a total of 174 levels are lower than they originally were.
sub-agreements were issued to individuals Also, unless a systematic analysis is carried
and associations covering about 3,375 ha out, it is difficult to clearly establish
and tenured forestland stands at 5,359 how much of the improvements in the
ha or about 22 per cent of the total.146 reserve and municipalities can be solely
An earlier report also cites 22 per cent of attributable to the co-management
the reserve as tenured through 28 agro- initiative. A systematic analysis would
forestry land management agreements require collection of primary data.
and community-based agro-forestry land
management agreements.147 In terms of The reported sustainability of Magat
immediate observable results, reduced watershed management efforts in Nueva
incidence of forest fires, timber poaching Vizcaya can be attributed to: 151 (1) the
and charcoal making was reported. As complementarity of the Department of
envisaged, self-reliant communities act as Environment and Natural Resources’
forest guards and fire suppressors. Natural resource management expertise and
regeneration, expansion in fruit and forest the local government unit’s ability
tree farms and revival of mountain springs to deliver basic services and manage
has been observed.148 people, (2) the co-management model
with empowerment of stakeholders and
Some socio-economic outcomes of the treating human concerns as linked to land
co-management initiative include reduced and water resources; and (3) a holistic
squatting and migration, and selling of approach. The first aspect comprises
rights, implying that holders may be better the competence of the Department of
off and not as cash-strapped anymore. Environment and Natural Resources and
The approach also provides livelihood high motivation of the local government
opportunities to the partners. One unit, with political leadership playing
example is through the sale of seedlings, a vital role in prioritizing watershed
which has become a cottage industry. management and allocating funds.
Another example is through supplying of The local initiatives and innovations
materials for the furniture industry. Lastly, from the constituents catalyzed
with increased incomes for partners, the participatory management. In the light


of the frequent changes in political forestland, arable land, vineyards, orchards,

leadership, enhancement of capacity at meadows, pastures and water bodies. The
the local government unit level has to be fertile alluvial floodplain associated with
sustained. The second aspect adhered to the Sava River has prevented urban sprawl,
the idea that “food security objectives hosting instead a few rural settlements,
of stakeholders can be made compatible while the hilly area of Vukomericke Gorice is
with ecological security objectives of the known for its small-scale farming.
state”. The challenge related to this is
to find viable short-term livelihoods to Through biophysical and anthropogenic
bridge and sustain medium- and long- interactions the four macro landscape units
term watershed-related investments. present in Zagreb are divided into smaller
Lastly, the holistic approach with units of forest, cultivated rural areas and
enabling policy and other institutional urban landscapes, resulting in a rich mosaic. In
support, forest resources security, forest total, 196 species of flora and 120 species of
protection, biodiversity and soil and fauna recorded across the city are designated
water conservation, sustainable flow as threatened or protected on national and
of forest products and socio-economic international biodiversity lists, and six habitat
and cultural well-being, make all types (mostly forests) are listed for protection
stakeholders winners. 152 under the European Union Habitats Directive.
Important species include 14 amphibian
6.8 Commitment to biodiversity species, 21 threatened wetland bird species,
and ecosystem habitats: Zagreb, 45 fish species, more than 110 butterfly
Croatia153 species, 67 species of mammals and 25
species of bat, with a significant amount of
Zagreb is the capital and the largest city in these categorized as threatened.
the Republic of Croatia.
The Zagreb case study demonstrates the
It has experienced rapid and dynamic urban ability of city officials, decision-makers and
development over the last few decades, communities to acknowledge and secure
whilst managing to safeguard its biodiversity. the city’s unique biodiversity and ecosystem
This biological diversity results from the habitats within the context of fast urban
city’s varied geology, hydrology, climate, growth and the associated pressures.
biogeography and historical background.
Landscape-wise, the Zagreb city-region In the past, the city engaged in biodiversity
occupies four macro units: the Medvednica management practices that yielded positive
Mountains, the foothills, the alluvial plain results. In 1991, the Zagreb City Assembly
and the Vukomericke Gorice Hills. meritoriously designated the Savica area as
an important landscape with separate special
The city itself is positioned on the southern zoological reserve status. This intervention
slopes of the Medvednica Mountains, which was assisted by the commercially-
mitigate the impact of the extreme climate owned Zagreb thermal energy plant, by
from the north and promote air circulation maintaining the water levels in the Savica
through the city. Nearby mountain forests wetland eco-system and thereby enabling
also provide a valuable educational, cultural, the preservation of endangered wetland
historical, tourist and recreational asset. species. Another successful intervention was
Greenery extends from the foothills through the placing of “bat-friendly” gates at the
the city’s various habitats, including parks, entrance to the Veternica Cave following


recommendations from experts from the guidance, regulation and enforcement. Yet
Croatian Natural History Museum. An action another objective was the preservation of
that has not yet yielded positive outcomes agricultural land. In 2004 up to 30% of the
is the city’s efforts to establish a public city area was classified as agricultural land and
institution dedicated to the management whilst not supporting many threatened or rare
of natural assets and habitats important for species, the areas still have the potential to
preserving biodiversity. Management and act as corridors or refuges for many species),
administration of the city’s biodiversity was, reversing the trend of grassland biodiversity
therefore, fragmented, with several city loss and preserving the existing diversity of
administration entities responsible for nature plant, fungi and animal species.
and biodiversity protection. However, co-
operation on joint programmes was achieved The city of Zagreb employed a wide range
between the city’s institutions and outside of methods in improving its biodiversity
partners. The city was a signatory to the management. This included ten-year
Countdown 2010 Declaration, coordinated by Protected Area Management Plans and a
the European Centre for Nature Conservation national certification procedure, based on
(ECNC) aimed at taking all necessary steps sustainability principles for the management
towards preventing or considerably mitigating of Croatia’s forests. The city devised incentives
biodiversity loss by 2010. for the wise management and utilisation of
biodiversity. Measures provided by the City’s
Zagreb prepared a biodiversity report in 2008
as part of the Local Action for Biodiversity Figure 6.5: Landscape Macro Units
(LAB) Project advocated by the International
Council for Local Environmental Initiatives
(ICLEI)154 – Local Governments for
Sustainability and partners. The Biodiversity
Report (2008) identified a wide range of
threats that included disjointed responsibility
for managing biodiversity, insufficient
funding resources, inadequate awareness,
an economy in transition, urban sprawl,
changes in traditional rural management,
the introduction of invasive species, etc. The
plan acknowledged that urbanisation can
have a negative impact on biodiversity, but
argued that this can be mitigated through
measures such as preservation and creation
of sufficient green areas within biodiversity
significance within the city, establishment
of green corridors and creating conditions
that enable the survival of species. The
City of Zagreb Physical Plan identified a
number of biodiversity objectives155, and this
included the protection of highly developed
biodiversity areas and ensuring protection Source: City of Zagreb Biodiversity Report
of rare and threatened habitat types and (2008). City of Zagreb City Office for Strategic
individual species through appropriate Planning and Development of the City


Office for Agriculture and Forestry, included Figure 6.6: Preliminary zoning prepared
financial support for plant production and for opening of discussion with
assistance for cooperatives, eco-production responsible institutions and land users
and events in agriculture, forestry, hunting
and freshwater fishery. Fines are in place
for violation of the provisions of the
Nature Protection Act for activities such as
introducing alien taxa into natural areas, the
degrading of natural assets, construction of
barriers on watercourses, water draining,
backfilling springs, ponds, etc. and harming
wild animals or destroying their habitats.

Zagreb initiated a number of biodiversity

projects aimed at enhancing species and
habitat management. Countdown towards
2010 was aimed at increasing community
involvement in biodiversity assessment.
Maksimir, a public institution, focused on
projects with the objective of protecting and
preserving natural values and undertaking
scientific and technical research within
Maksimir Park such as preparing an inventory
of plants, research on butterflies, study of
birdlife, protection of the common toad
and research on the influence of introduced
species. On-going projects in Medvednica Source: City of Zagreb Biodiversity Report
Nature Park include linking strategies in (2008). City of Zagreb City Office for Strategic
freshwater crayfish conservation between Planning and Development of the City
Austria and Croatia, nature-friendly forest
management, damage assessment of forest lectures, civic organizations and national and
ecosystems, monitoring of Veternica Cave international organizations. The Community
fauna, preparing an inventory of vascular Involvement in Biodiversity Assessment
flora, and research on butterfly fauna, study Project was aimed at enhancing co-operation
of the Dipper and Wagtails birds, inventory and awareness between the city, NGOs, the
of cave fauna, and research on the influence research community and civil society on issues
of visitors on bat cave activities. relating to biodiversity. A combination of
ecological and people-orientated participatory
Significant efforts were aimed at methods were used and this resulted in a
mainstreaming biodiversity within wider community based monitoring scheme and
city policies and this included broad based inventory of urban diversity, with a particular
community participation in the processes. focus on the occurrence of species of
This was achieved through close co-operation international importance. This project was
between the various city administrations funded by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture,
and collaboration with city wide NGOs, such Nature and Food Quality and City of Zagreb
as the Croatian Ornithological Society who and implemented by the European Centre
do monitoring and give public talks and for Nature Conservation (ECNC), ICLEI, the


University of Zagreb, the Croatian Natural opportunities but they also moderate daily
History Museum, the Croatian Ornithological temperature extremes and improve the
Society and the City of Zagreb. Further public city’s overall aesthetics. Agricultural land
participation was achieved through the hosting is managed primarily for the food and
of national and international environmental natural resources it provides, however it also
events. Other avenues pursued included preserves the genetic pool for local domestic
environmental publications, round table breeds of animals and offers recreation
discussions, press coverage and conferences. through hunting, shooting and fishing.
The widespread location, range and variety of
habitats available, and a balance between the The Zagreb case study demonstrated the
degree of development of green spaces and the commitment and dedication of the city’s
owner relationships have all made green space decision-makers, officials and communities
accessible to the local population of Zagreb. to acknowledge and safeguard the city’s
Entry to protected areas was free of charge, and unique biodiversity and ecosystem habitats.
the City of Zagreb provided free public transport The physical location of the city, its history and
for scholars, students, the unemployed and the culture are inextricably linked to its biophysical
aged. Special ecology education programmes setting and associated ecosystems. The city
were implemented in kindergartens and made a concerted effort to involve stakeholders
schools, funded by the City of Zagreb. The within and outside the city, and the efforts
city’s cultural, educational and open-university aimed at community and public involvement
centres implemented a variety of programmes in the process of biodiversity protection are
and actions related to the environment, nature commendable. These efforts were wide ranging
protection and eco-education. and included active participation programmes,
which, amongst other outcomes, resulted in the
Within Zagreb there is wide recognition recording and monitoring of biodiversity assets.
of the benefits provided to its citizens Although the city’s biodiversity assets were
by biodiversity. These ecosystem services managed and administered by various public
extend across forests, wetlands urban entities, integration and collaboration were
parks and agricultural land. Forests provide achieved through clear goal setting and tackling
timber, food such as mushrooms and honey, workable projects and programmes. These could
regulate the local climate, help to reduce run be accelerated significantly once a unified entity
off and thus prevent soil erosion and offer for biodiversity management is established. Also,
opportunities for recreation and leisure. The it is conceivable that the educational and support
water bodies and wetlands provide drinking efforts aimed at securing community ownership
water, support recreational activities and of the biodiversity initiatives and the recognition
help in removing pollutants. Urban parks of the value of biodiversity by the citizens will
not only provide recreational and leisure yield benefits for generations to come.


Urban farm in Chicago © Wikipedia/Linda


While acknowledging the complexity of urban such as water purification, cultural and
systems and the uncertainty of a city’s future medicinal benefits.
requirements, this guide offers an approach to
working with nature at a regional scale. This The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment156
approach involves identifying and assessing defined the following categories of
the ecological processes that operate within ecosystem services:
the region. The aim is to safeguard these
processes so that the ecosystem services that • Provisioning services provide us with
they provide will be available to present and food, water, raw materials, biofuels
future city residents. and medicinal resources.

This approach also supports ecological • Regulating services regulate the quality
resilience. With climate change (and indeed of air, soil and water, provide flood and
any change) comes a level of uncertainty. disease control, provide pollination
Biodiversity is crucial to the adaptive resilience services and regulate pests and prevent
of a city as it sustains the flow of ecosystem disease.
services to the city-region in times of change
by supporting the adaptive capacity of the • Habitat or supporting services provide
ecological system. Working with nature at a living spaces for plants or animals; they
regional scale creates a basis for ensuring the also maintain a diversity of different
biodiversity’s and system’s integrity to enable breeds of plants and animals.
this adaptive capacity to be sustained.
• Cultural services include the non-
The ecosystem services that biodiversity material benefits people obtain from
sustains are those goods and services contact with ecosystems, including
provided by nature that are beneficial to aesthetic, spiritual, educational and
humans. Besides providing the essential psychological benefits; public health;
food and water supplies that are needed and recreational opportunities.
for survival, they also include services


The approach to support biodiversity and • Plan on an efficient, modular basis that
ecosystem integrity outlined in this guide can be updated easily.
is to promote the landscape mosaic spatial
pattern, which incorporates a network In conclusion, there are a number of co-
of green “patches” and interlinked benefits from supporting biodiversity,
“corridors”. This network of patches and promoting a landscape mosaic spatial plan
corridors increases the connectivity of and safeguarding critical ecosystem services.
the green spaces in a region, allowing Ecological, economic and equity benefits
increased opportunity for species movement can result from the following interventions:
throughout the network. This guide presents
a number of principles aimed at promoting • Protection of large green patches;
a landscape mosaic spatial pattern:
• Management of water catchments;
• Identify strategic landscape patterns
to safeguard the critical ecological • Restoration of wildlife movement
processes; corridors;

• Highlight the economic and cultural • Restoration of ecosystems, such as

value of ecosystem services; rivers and wetlands;

• Work with ecological processes; • Building of roads close together

• Adopt an integrated planning and
management approach; • Removal of unnecessary roads separating
large green patches;
• See the city as a living system;
• Upgrading of existing roads rather
• Make open spaces productive; than the building of new ones; and

• Recycle, reclaim and reuse urban • Prioritization of dense compact city

spaces; and development and directed growth.

• Make the process transparent and The eight case studies in this guide capture
inclusive. the complexity of urbanization and
ecosystem provision, and illustrate that there
In order to implement and promote a is no single approach to maximizing the
landscape mosaic spatial pattern, city benefits of urbanization, but that innovation
managers are encouraged to: in pursuit of maintaining the ecological
functioning of a city and its region can bring
• Plan on a tier of levels; and sustained benefits.

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