The need for Green Networks and Local Social Involvement


Since 2007 the Stockholm Resilience Centre advances research on the governance of social-ecological systems with emphasis on resilience – the ability to deal with change and continue to develop. Each year the centre provides a list of the most requested publications by its researchers.

In 2014, an article on green infrastructure and urban ecosystem services is among the top ten requested sources.  It stresses two key factors: firstly the necessity of connecting small green spaces within the city into ecological networks and secondly that it is compulsory to involve inhabitants socially with green spaces on an individual and local basis in order to get ecosystem services delivered succesfully for the entire city.

Summary (link to full article below)
Within-city green infrastructure can offer opportunities and new contexts for people to become stewards of ecosystem services. We analyze cities as social–ecological systems, synthesize the literature, and provide examples from more than 15 years of research in the Stockholm urban region, Sweden.
The social–ecological approach spans from investigating ecosystem properties to the social frameworks and personal values that drive and shape human interactions with nature. Key findings demonstrate that urban ecosystem services are generated by social–ecological systems and that local stewards are critically important. However, land-use planning and management seldom account for their role in the generation of urban ecosystem services.
While the small scale patchwork of land uses in cities stimulates intense interactions across borders much focus is still on individual patches. The results highlight the importance and complexity of stewardship of urban biodiversity and ecosystem services and of the planning and governance of urban green infrastructure.

Author(s): Andersson E, Barthel S, Borgström S, Colding J, Elmqvist T, Folke C, Gren Å.
In: Ambio 43(4):445-53. Year: 2014. Read the full article here.