Karsten Grunewald, IOER
Projectflyer (PDF, German, Czech)
The quality of life and future of our cities depends on reconciling the demands of modern urban living, a growing infrastructure and attractive working and recreational environments with the protection of biological diversity. The maintenance of biodiversity and the performance of ecosystems are currently two of the greatest challenges facing mankind. In the 1990s the concept of ecosystem services became established in international discussion on this topic. Ecosystem services can be defined as the point of intersection between ecosystems and human well-being. The attraction of this concept is due to its integrative character as well as its linking of ecological, economic and social aspects. It is becoming increasingly important that we comprehend these interdependencies, take better account of them in decision-making processes at all administrative levels and educate the wider public on these prerequisites for sustainable development.
The project aims to apply a uniform approach to detecting, quantifying and evaluating ecosystem services in the cities Dresden, Liberec and Děčín. Results will be processed for easy application in decision-making processes, urban planning, nature conservation as well in public informational campaigns. Some measures will be implemented in collaboration with the local authorities for the purposes of illustration.
Basic methods and data will be developed and investigations undertaken to determine the value of selected ecosystems of particular importance to the local population. Findings will include descriptions of methods, data catalogues, digital and analogue maps of the detected ecosystems as well as evaluations of selected ecosystem services.
Products will be developed to assist local authorities as well as other decision-making bodies in their work. Evaluations of ecosystem services will provide a solid basis for spatial planning and decisions by revealing and expanding the diverse ways in which ecosystems benefit citizens. These products are intended to facilitate the work of the named actors in the form of detailed instructions and guidelines for action, training courses and workshops.
The services provided by ecosystems will be identified and clearly communicated, not only to selected decision-makers but also to the general public. In this way, it is hoped to foster a wide social acceptance of measures to preserve biodiversity and ecosystem services. The project also incorporates environmental education using innovative technologies and the application of new media.
Concrete examples will be realised in the participating cities to improve the quality of green infrastructures, to increase ecosystem services and to highlight their benefits.