Site-specific factors in the production of local urban ecosystem services : a case study of community-managed green space

Dennis, M and James, P ORCID: 2016, 'Site-specific factors in the production of local urban ecosystem services : a case study of community-managed green space' , Ecosystem Services, 17 , pp. 208-216.

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Pockets of green space in cities can provide important ecosystem services for urban residents. As naturalistic spaces in urban areas become increasingly sparse, communities are beginning to co-manage existing incidental pockets of land towards the creation of communal natural resources. Such green commons can be productive in terms of ecosystem services through targeted management such as in the case of urban agriculture. Although some work has been done to explore the motives behind and potential benefits of informal green space management, further research is required to understand those characteristics of site management and community input which contribute to the enhancement of site-specific ecosystem service production. A case study of ten examples of community-managed green space was undertaken to evaluate the contributory factors relating to site character and management which influenced productivity as defined by the cumulative provision of four urban-relevant ecosystem services. The analysis revealed that the level of community involvement, measured as intensity of volunteer hours, was highly instrumental in the productivity of sites. Food production also proved to be catalytic for the enhancement of ecosystem services whereas extent of vegetative cover and increasing site size were, counter-intuitively, detrimental to overall site productivity. The study therefore supports the promotion of participatory approaches to the management of ecosystems services in urban areas, particularly those which take small-scale urban agriculture as a primary practice.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: Ecosystem Services
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 2212-0416
Related URLs:
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: Dr Matthew Dennis
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2016 12:05
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 20:13

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