Ecosystem services assessment tools for regenerative urban design in Oceania

  • YEAR
    Delpy, Fabian
    Pedersen Zari, Maibritt
    2020 Conference Papers
    Conference Papers
    Practice Based & Interdisciplinary Design & Research


Tools that spatially model ecosystem services offer the opportunity to include ecological values into regenerative urban design practices. However, few of these tools are suitable for assessing ecosystem services in cities, meaning their application by urban designers and architects is potentially limited. This research reviews and compares a diverse range of ecosystem services assessment tools to find those that are most suited for the urban context of Aotearoa New Zealand and Pacific Oceania islands. The tool classification includes essential aspects of project management such as type of input and output data, time commitment, and necessary skills required. The strengths and limitations of the most relevant tools are further discussed alongside illustrative case studies, some collected from literature and one conducted as part of the research in Wellington, Aotearoa. A major finding of the research is that from the 95 tools reviewed, 4 are judged to be relevant for urban design projects. These are modelling tools that allow spatially explicit visualisation of biophysical quantification of ecosystem services. The ecosystem services assessed vary among tools and the outputs’ reliability often depends on the user’s technical expertise. The provided recommendations support urban designers and architects to choose the tool that best suits their regenerative design project requirements.

Keywords: Ecosystem-based adaptation; multidisciplinary design; urban ecology; Pacific Oceania islands.


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