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  • 1.
    Colding, Johan
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science. Beijerinstitutet för Ekologisk Ekonomi, KVA.
    Gren, Åsa
    KTH.
    Barthel, Stephan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science. Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University.
    The Incremental Demise of Urban Green Spaces2020In: Land, ISSN 2073-445X, E-ISSN 2073-445X, Vol. 9, no 5Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    More precise explanations are needed to better understand why public green spaces are diminishing in cities, leading to the loss of ecosystem services that humans receive from natural systems. This paper is devoted to the incremental change of green spaces—a fate that is largely undetectable by urban residents. The paper elucidates a set of drivers resulting in the subtle loss of urban green spaces and elaborates on the consequences of this for resilience planning of ecosystem services. Incremental changes of greenspace trigger baseline shifts, where each generation of humans tends to take the current condition of an ecosystem as the normal state, disregarding its previous states. Even well-intended political land-use decisions, such as current privatization schemes, can cumulatively result in undesirable societal outcomes, leading to a gradual loss of opportunities for nature experience. Alfred E. Kahn referred to such decision making as ‘the tyranny of small decisions.’ This is mirrored in urban planning as problems that are dealt with in an ad hoc manner with no officially formulated vision for long-term spatial planning. Urban common property systems could provide interim solutions for local governments to survive periods of fiscal shortfalls. Transfer of proprietor rights to civil society groups can enhance the resilience of ecosystem services in cities.

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  • 2.
    Gren, Åsa
    et al.
    The Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Colding, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science. The Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden; The Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Berghauser-Pont, Meta
    Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Marcus, Lars
    Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    How smart is smart growth?: Examining the environmental validation behind city compaction2019In: Ambio, ISSN 0044-7447, E-ISSN 1654-7209, Vol. 48, no 6, p. 580-589Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Smart growth (SG) is widely adopted by planners and policy makers as an environmentally friendly way of building cities. In this paper, we analyze the environmental validity of the SG-approach based on a review of the scientific literature. We found a lack of proof of environmental gains, in combination with a great inconsistency in the measurements of different SG attributes. We found that a surprisingly limited number of studies have actually examined the environmental rationales behind SG, with 34% of those studies displaying negative environmental outcomes of SG. Based on the insights from the review, we propose that research within this context must first be founded in more advanced and consistent knowledge of geographic and spatial analyses. Second, it needs to a greater degree be based on a system's understanding of urban processes. Third, it needs to aim at making cities more resilient, e.g., against climate-change effects.

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