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Urban Greenspace Natural Capital Accounting

Image of green lawn with our excercise equipment and trees.
Denman Park, Westhill

Urban Greenspace provides many benefits to urban residents, including access to areas for recreation and socialising, as well as providing areas for biodiversity, carbon sequestration, or flood regulation. As populations become more urbanised the relative value of these urban greenspaces increases, but they also come under increasing pressure for development. In this project we are looking to value the Natural Capital of Scotland’s urban greenspaces, particularly focused on contributions to:

Mental Health
Using existing data we relate the amount of urban greenspace within an area to prescription rates for drugs to treat mental health disorders.
Physical Health
Previous studies have been carried out on the benefits of urban greenspace to physical health. We will transfer these values to Scotland’s urban greenspaces.
Recreation values
We will carry out a survey with Scottish urban residents to understand how they value the recreation services of different types of urban greenspace.
Biodiversity
Alongside the survey to understand values of recreation we will also consider benefits of biodiversity. This will be linked to existing data on biodiversity of Scotland’s urban greenspaces.
Food production
Considering the expected yields and areas of urban greenspace put aside for allotments or community gardens we will estimate the market value of food grown.
Air quality regulation
We will use existing data on air quality regulation properties of vegetation to calculate the contribution of Scotland’s urban greenspace.
Noise mitigation
We will use existing data on noise mitigation properties of vegetation to calculate the contribution of Scotland’s urban greenspace.
Cooling effects
We will use existing data on cooling properties of vegetation to calculate the contribution of Scotland’s urban greenspace.
Carbon Sequestration
We will use existing data on carbon sequestration properties of vegetation to calculate the contribution of Scotland’s urban greenspace.
Flood mitigation
Using existing data on flood mitigation properties of greenspace we will transfer these values across Scotland’s urban greenspaces.

 

For more information contact Michaela Roberts

 

This work is carried out in collaboration with colleagues at Scotland's Rural College (SRUC)
 

Project Information
Project Type: 
Active Project
SEFARI – Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research InstitutesSEFARI is the collective of six Scottish world-leading Research Institutes working across the spectrum of environment, land, food, agriculture and communities – all topics which affect how we live our lives, in Scotland and beyond.

Research

Areas of Interest


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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.