Research Area:
Landscape Change and Management

ESS Urban Habitat Types

Integration of the ESS approach (Ecosystem Services approach) into the concept of urban habitat typing – state of the art and further analysis

Problem statement
Every city is characterised by specific land use structures that play a major role in determining the supply of ecosystem services (ESS).

To ensure sustainable urban development that takes account of ecosystem services, it is necessary to have a comprehensive and detailed overview of which ESS can be produced in various part of the urban area or which types of biotope should be developed in order to compensate for existing deficits. One method to achieve this is to map urban habitats. However, this presupposes knowledge of which ESS can be provided by which type of urban habitat. Although there exists a range of findings on the ESS of urban green spaces in general, these are rarely differentiated according to different types and qualities of urban greenery (habitat types). There is also a lack of information on built-up and partially developed areas. The integrative nature of the ESS concept, which aims to reveal the diverse benefits of intact urban ecosystems for humans as well as the impact of anthropogenic intervention on the ecosystem, is not sufficiently taken into account in the analysis of urban habitat types. Yet it is possible to link different categories of ESS with socio-cultural services as well as supply and regulation services through the mapping of (urban) habitat types. This approach can also be applied at the international level.

The aim of the project is to provide information on ecosystem services in the city in relation to urban habitat types as a basis for planning decisions and long-term monitoring. This requires an analysis of the relationship between ecosystem services and specific urban habitat types, taking into account green (e.g. parks, forests), blue (e.g. water bodies) and grey infrastructures (e.g. residential and commercial areas).

Research questions  

  1. What is the current state of international research on the link between ESS and urban habitat types?
  2. What possibilities exist to realise an integrative analysis of urban ecosystems for urban planning by linking ESS with urban habitat types?

Desired results

  1. To illustrate the link between urban habitat types and ESS.
  2. To create a review paper summarising the literature evaluation on the relationship between ESS and specific urban habitat types.
  3. To suggest possible follow-up projects (detailed analyses) on the basis of a stock and deficit analysis (demand for the ESS of certain types of urban habitats; role of individual types of urban habitats for specific ESS; lack of information on certain ESS).




Dr. Juliane Mathey
Phone +49 351 4679 231


Basic funding