Using expert knowledge in combining green infrastructure and ecosystem services in land use planning: an insight into a new place-based methodology
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Green infrastructure (GI) is a strategic planning instrument to achieve sustainable development. The main functions of GI are to protect biodiversity and safeguard and enhance the provision of ecosystem services (ES). In this paper we present the development of a semi-quantitative place-based method, aiming at assessing GI based on the provision potential of all main ES. Our method combines a wide spectrum of GIS data with expert assessments. Here we focus especially on how interaction with experts and local and regional actors impacted the method development. Our results showed that involving experts in dataset selection is very useful in compiling the most relevant data for the assessment of ES. Expert knowledge is also valuable in evaluating the actual coverage and quality of datasets. By involving both experts and local and regional actors in assessing ES provision potential we can add local knowledge to the general scientific understanding. Qualitative assessments can be complemented with quantitative data in our method. The resulting maps support land use planning, as they assist in identifying the multifunctional key areas of GI and in examining the provision potential of various ES. The group discussions involved in our method provided an additional benefit, as the experts and local and regional actors felt that this discussion platform enhanced their understanding of both GI and ES.
KeywordsGIS Mapping Method development Expert knowledge Expert assessment Participatory assessment
We would like to acknowledge the Ministry of Environment in Finland for funding our research, and all the experts and local and regional actors that have given their valuable time for the benefit of the GreenFrame method development. We also want to thank the anonymous reviewers for their very constructive comments on the manuscript.
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