Success factors for implementing the ecosystem services concept in urban land-use planning

Chair: Sonja Deppisch (
Co-chair: Dagmar Lezuo (
                   Anke Wessels (

Short  Description:
In the past 10 to 15 years the Ecosystem Services (ESS) concept has been evolving rapidly in the scientific realm and by now it is widely recognized as a holistic and integrative approach considering the dependence of society from nature.
Given this, the ESS concept is increasingly being integrated in decision-making and management by various institutions from the public and private sector, e.g. as a communication tool for policy guidance and priority setting or as a planning tool for urban green spaces.
However, these efforts mainly refer to the integration of single ESS or to the integration in sectoral planning, particularly in environmental or landscape planning. The integration of the concept as a whole in comprehensive land-use planning remains rather detached from the expectation held by academia.
This session aims at discussing possible success factors contributing to an integration of the holistic ESS concept into urban planning. We want to shed light on governance structures, key players and tools related to planning, participation and communication which help to implement the ESS concept in decisions on land-use in cities and urban regions. Therefore, the guiding questions are:
How can the Ecosystem Services concept be integrated into the planning process?
  • What are the significant anchoring points and which stakeholder constellations are beneficial for a successful integration?
  • What barriers have to be overcome?
  • How could the knowledge about social-ecological relations be integrated in communication and public participation and thereby contribute to successful spatial planning?
  • How could the integration of the ESS concept into planning practices be secured in the long term?
We will start with short introducing and impulse presentations on the following topics gained from our own research results:
Sonja Deppisch: Renewing urban planning? Opportunities and barriers to integrating ecosystem services in land-use planning in urban regions // Dagmar Lezuo: The ESS concept as knowledge plant: Translation strategies to transfer social-ecological knowledge into urban space and society // Anke Wessels: Giving people a voice: How to make the ESS concept the subject of public participation.
After those short impulses we will open the plenary to further presentations and we are aiming at an intense discussion among the participants. We warmly welcome contributions dealing with any kind of those questions as well as tackling the topic of integrating ESSs in planning processes in a general manner. Approaches ideally are spatially explicit and refer to the analysis of existing governance structures as entry points for integrative conceptual planning and decision-making processes in cities and urban regions.    
This session relates to the following conference topics:
  • Biodiversity in urban areas
  • Social awareness of urban ecosystems
  • Life quality in cities
  • Green infrastructure in the urban areas