Integration of Ecosystem Services in the Structure of the City is Essential for Urban Sustainability

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientific


Examining the actual major environmental and social problems of the modern city, e.g., pollution, difficulties in food and water supply, poverty or homelessness, this study argues that insights from the field of ecology could offer structural solutions. In particular, specific ecosystem services could be used to fight/solve specific urban problems. Today, on a large scale, only a few different ecosystem services from outside the urban area are used as ecosystems, as biotopes are insufficiently available inside the city boundary. Their physical absence obstructs the use of their benefits and leaves an important potential of urban ecological space unused. Most vegetation was banned from cities during urban history, what may have been the fundamental cause of several major urban problems emerging today. Therefore, the solving potential was analyzed of 20 ecological services if consistently located inside the urban boundary. According to the results, respectively, 14 and 7 ecosystem services can be linked as solutions to 10 environmental and 8 social problems eminent in contemporary cities. This study, therefore, concludes that structural integrating ecosystem services in the built-up urban space: (1) could solve major urban environmental and social problems; (2) improve urban sustainability; (3) revitalize degraded urban areas.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEcological Wisdom Inspired Restoration Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationEcoWISE (Innovative Approaches to Socio-Ecological Sustainability)
EditorsVarenya Achal, Abhijit Mukherjee
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-13-0149-0
ISBN (Print)978-981-13-0148-3
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameEcoWISE-Innovative Approaches to Socio-Ecological Sustainability


  • Urban problems
  • Urban ecological services
  • Urban nature
  • Sustainability of cities

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