Ecosystem Services for strategic Green Infrastructure Planning in German and Chinese Cities

Chair: Harald Zepp  (
Co-chair: Luis Inostroza  (

Short  Description:
Green infrastructure (GI) provides fundamental ecosystem services (ES) to sustain human wellbeing in cities. “Green infrastructure is the idea that nature in cities should be administered in an integrated way, just as grey infrastructure systems have been” (WOLF 2004, 33). The EU and Germany actively promote strategic planning of GI in urban areas. In China, the "Ministry of Natural Resources", founded in 2018, places integrated spatial development planning in the political and scientific focus. The benefits of GI are reflected in the strengthening of diverse ES and the implementation of nature-based solutions. Sustainable urban development in China and Germany is closely linked to the goals of climate protection and adaptation. The transfer of knowledge and methods from ES science into the GI planning practice, taking into account the specific, culturally, socially and regionally related governance arrangements of both countries, is a challenge, which requires formal and informal tools and institutions for introducing or supporting GI planning in an urban context. For amalgamating the ES framework within the current GI planning practice, it is necessary to consider synergies and trade-offs in ES provision, comparing alternative urban development scenarios with competing ES. This session will discuss an innovative spatially explicit methodology for assessing GI development in spatial planning based on the latest research on urban ES. The Session welcomes contributions that:
1. Explore conceptualization of how synergy potentials and conflicting goals, trade-offs for various urban development, and land use scenarios between ES are identified and structured within GI planning;
2. Procedures for the operationalization and evaluation of ES under spatially explicit approaches;
3. Urban ES city-scale approaches to systematically identify ES trade-offs, synergies, and ‘hotspots’ associated with GI;
4. Testing of indicators of urban ES to inform GI planning;
5. Identification of success factors and elements of best practice strategies in Germany and Chinese cities.