Urban parks, which include a variety of green, brown, and gray infrastructure (e.g. greenways, native desert parks, plazas), are key providers of ecosystem services within cities. Given the importance of urban ecosystem services to the social and ecological health of urban ecosystems, there is a growing consensus that ecosystem service considerations should be integrated into urban park planning, policy, and design. Yet this integration is limited by a lack of relevant, accessible tools and standards for implementation. To address these deficiencies the present study developed the Urban Park Ecosystem Services (UPES) tool. UPES an open-source, geographically contextualized planning tool and site design guidelines for systematically integrating multiple ecosystem service considerations into urban park planning. To maximize relevancy and accessibility to practitioners, the tool was based on an existing planning ordinance, already in use by planners. UPES was customized to an arid city using Phoenix, Arizona as a case study, but can be modified for use in other cities based on their specific geographic conditions and policy goals. UPES provides a starting point and foundation for the integration of ecosystem service considerations into urban park planning and design to maximize their benefits across an urbanized region.
Ibes, Dorothy C.
"Integrating Ecosystem Services Into Urban Park Planning & Design,"
Cities and the Environment (CATE):
1, Article 1.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/cate/vol9/iss1/1