The spatial dimension of accessibility to urban ecosystems services and functions in contemporary cities
Chair: Daniele La Rosa
Co-chair: Raffaele Pelorosso
The accessibility to urban ecosystem services and other functions (transport node, public services or areas, historical areas) represents a crucial issue to be addressed when planning contemporary cities toward higher level of sustainability and a more equal spatial distribution of these services/functions. Accessibility is directly linked to the issue of environmental justice, because it relies on the general principle that all people have a right to have access to the same services (green spaces, sanitation, social services, transportation) in the urban environment.
However, different people interpret accessibility based on their specific needs and priorities, and particular social groups may benefit from a good level of accessibility more than other, depending on where the services/functions are located and how they can get to the service. For example, it is generally acknowledged that an easy access to green spaces is particularly beneficial for children, lower socioeconomic groups or for people with mental/psychological illness.
These arguments delineate a complex picture of accessibility and highlights the urgency for urban planning to design a differentiated system of ecosystem services and urban functions so to take into consideration the different demands and needs of social groups living in cities and to maximise their overall accessibility.
This session present contributions that reflect on the different types of accessibility to ecosystem services and urban functions and to the relative approaches for their evaluation. The session particularly welcomes contributions with a focus on the spatial dimension, i.e. the spatial relation among the ecosystem services/urban functions, the location of the users in the city and the modalities they can get to services/functions.