Green systems such as parks, green infrastructures, forest and the like, are fundamental for biodiversity and the quality of life of urban populations. They bring an ecological dimension which is still pending for proper attention within urban governance (Jim, 2004). Grey systems compounded by buildings, technical infrastructures and anthropogenic materials are the body of society (Grimm et al., 2008). Sustainable urban development depends on the articulation of both and its adequate inclusion within spatial planning and urban governance frameworks. However up to date approaches integrating both green and grey systems are still underdeveloped.
This study carried out in the cross-boundary urban landscape of the city of Cieszyn (PL) and Český Těšín (CZ), forming one urban system divided with the border line frontier aims to (1) access and analyze the spatial structure urban green and grey systems and (2) analyze the potential provision of ecosystem services in the urban cross-boundary landscape. Land cover (LC) data prepared accordingly to INSPIRE regulation, was collected both from Polish and Czech sources. The LC classes were classified as belonging either to the green system or to the grey system separately for Český Těšín and Cieszyn. A spatial analysis using technomass (Inostroza, 2014) and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index indicators was performed and combined with population data. The ratio between technomass, amount of inhabitants and NDVI,used as a proxy indicator for the provision of ES, was implemented for the identification of ecosystem services deficit areas.
The study shows significant spatial asymmetries indicated inter alia by the share of grey and green systems and the distribution of ES deficit areas. The spatial asymmetries of the urban cross-boundary landscape indicate the need of urban governance covering the green and grey systems located on both sides of the border as a spatial unity. This place challenges to current planning frameworks in cross boundary landscapes.
Grimm, N. B., Faeth, S. H., Golubiewski, N. E., Redman, C. L., Wu, J. G., Bai, X. M., & Briggs, J. M. (2008). Global change and the ecology of cities. Science, 319(5864), 756–760.
Inostroza, L. (2014). Measuring urban ecosystem functions through “Technomass”—A novel indicator to assess urban metabolism. Ecological Indicators, 42, 10–19.
Jim, C. (2004). Green-space preservation and allocation for sustainable greening of compact cities. Cities, 21(4), 311–320.