Blue infrastructures are an important component of urban areas. They include urban lakes, rivers, swamps and others aquatic surfaces. Studies highlight the important role they play for urban areas by providing ecosystem services such as climate and air regulation, water runoff, water provision, habitat for different species. However, disservices should also be considered, as floods, habitat for some illness vector-borne (e.g. mosquitos). In the past decade many cities started shifting from a traditional water management approach to an integrated planning of blue infrastructure. Consequently, beside the expert knowledge, urban residents `perceptions have become increasingly important within the planning process.
However, not much is known about the differences between how experts envision the planning of the blue infrastructure, and if and how that contrasts to resident`s visions. To fill that gap, this study aims to explore the similarities and differences in the assessment of ecosystem (dis)services, provided by urban lakes, by residents and experts. Data gathering involved a survey in three Romanian cities (Bucharest, Targu Jiu and Orsova). Residents living in close proximity of urban lakes were requested to answer a face to face questionnaire.
The same questionnaire was sent to experts on urban planning via an online survey. The analyzed data included answers from 200 residents, and 50 experts.
A multiple correspondence analysis was carried out to explore the similarities and differences in the perception of these different groups of actors. Preliminary results show that the cultural services (such as recreation and aesthetic opportunities) were the most frequently identified, followed by the provisioning, supporting and regulating services of urban lakes. The social valuation of the ecosystem (dis)services provided by urban lakes will provide useful insights on the social trade-offs which are often lacking from urban decision-making processes.
Tudor, C. A., Iojă, I. C., Rozylowicz, L., Pǎtru-Stupariu, I., & Hersperger, A. M. (2015). Similarities and differences in the assessment of land-use associations by local people and experts. Land Use Policy, 49, 341-351.