Publication Date

March 2019

The main goal of this article is to analyze how different barriers which restrict urban green space (UGS) provision – notably their availability, accessibility and attractiveness – affect the delivery of ecosystem services (ESs). Our analysis involves three case studies in Lodz, Poland: the removal of trees in private properties following the liberalization of the Nature Conservation Act (availability); the replacement of allotment gardens with a city beach (accessibility); and the organization of entertainment events in the forest (attractiveness). The analyzed barriers include governmental failures, insufficient social support for the existence of certain UGSs, changes in spatial planning and activities discouraging other users. Our analysis shows that physical access to UGSs is not always equal to access to ESs, and that different ESs are affected differently at the three levels of UGS provision. Also, those who suffer from the loss of access to ESs are often not involved in making the relevant UGS provision decisions. All of these issues add new aspects to the current debates related to political ecology, environmental justice and ES trade-offs.