Changes in the value of ecosystem services along a rural–urban gradient: A case study of Greater Manchester, UK

Radford, KG and James, P ORCID: 2013, 'Changes in the value of ecosystem services along a rural–urban gradient: A case study of Greater Manchester, UK' , Landscape and Urban Planning, 109 (1) , pp. 117-127.

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The degradation and loss of vital ecosystem functions and services have been an uncontested result of urbanisation. An understanding of how ecosystem services are provided along rural–urban gradients is crucial in the task of conserving and enhancing vital services in urban environments, increasing the quality of life of urban dwellers, and working towards a sustainable future. Focusing on nine ecosystem services – aesthetic, spiritual, recreation, water flow regulation, carbon sequestration, climate change adaptation, pollination, biodiversity potential, and noise attenuation – regarded as important to urban areas the authors detail the changes in the values of these services along a gradient comprising four categories of urbanisation: urban, suburban, peri-urban and rural, in Greater Manchester, UK. The data on which the discussion is based are derived from an interdisciplinary assessment tool, developed from a selection of previously used assessment methods including the Residential Environment Assessment Tool and the Green Flag Award. Based on a mixture of a field and desktop study, the new tool assigns non-economic values of 0–10 to the selected services, allowing for evaluation of quality between, as well as within, each category of ecosystem service. Trends in the results are discussed, as are drivers for the changes in values along the rural–urban gradient. It is foreseen that this new body of knowledge will allow both practitioners and academics to gain further insight into the provision of ecosystem services along a rural–urban gradient to allow them to tackle the problems associated with them and to optimise open space planning.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: Landscape and Urban Planning
Publisher: Elsevier
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0169-2046
Related URLs:
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: Professor Philip James
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2012 14:35
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2022 09:51

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