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Social and cultural services of urban forests and their characteristics - a survey-based quantification

 

Urban forests fulfil important functions in terms of ecosystem services and are greatly appreciated by the public for their social and cultural services. The aim of the project is to get insights into people's expectations and assessments of these services. Furthermore, the project aims to link the population's perceptions and expectations with on-site forest characteristics. 

Project information

This project is being carried out in the context of the COST-Action FP 1204 GreenInUrbs (Green infrastructure approach: Linking environmental with social aspects in studying and managing urban forests). The project is closely related to the topic of Working Group 2 "Social/cultural services of green infrastructure and urban forestry". The aim of the project is to define social and cultural services of urban forests and to get insights into people's expectations and assessments of these services. Furthermore, the project aims to link the population's perceptions and expectations with on-site forest characteristics.

Research questions

How can an online-survey be carried out in order to link data from the two monitoring instruments NFI and WaMos and explain various aspects of forest recreation?

  1. In how far are respondents' expectations linked to on-site physical forest properties and characteristics?
  2. Is it possible to describe groups and profiles of people with regard to different forest-type expectations and assessments?
  3. What social, cultural and ecological services does the population expect of urban forests?
  4. How important are services provided during urban-forest recreation compared to services provided otherwise (e.g. general forest functions such as wood production, climate regulation, biodiversity, natural-hazard protection, as well as views on forests, the pure existence of forests, distance to forest from home, etc.)?
  5. What are the implications for management?

Methods

An online-survey in the whole of Switzerland should provide insights into people's perception and evaluation of sociocultural ecosystem services and disservices in urban forests. Detailed forest photos and physical forest data from the Swiss National Forest Inventory NFI will help to examine the values that people associate with different forest characteristics. 

Project team

Research Unit Economics and Social Sciences:

Research Unit Forest Resources and Management:


Research Unit Biodiversity and Conservation Biology: