Jun Yang, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

Presentation Title: Build the linkages among urbanization, ecosystem services and human well-being




In this study, an analysis of the impacts of rapid urbanization on four types of ecosystem services (carbon storage, flood control, biodiversity and food production) was performed in 30 major Chinese cities between 1990 and 2010. The results show that rapid urbanization has caused significant changes in both the magnitude and distribution of ecosystem services in those cities. All cities have experienced deterioration in ecosystem services during urbanization.

The current urbanization policy, which has led to the conversion of land-use/cover with high values of ecosystem services to land-use/cover with low ecosystem services, must be revised to prevent the further loss of ecosystem services. Land-use/cover change can serve as a useful indicator to link urbanization, ecosystem services and human well-being at the regional scale.


Key Lessons Learned

  • Land-use/land-change is an easy-to-use indicator to link urbanization, ecosystem services and human well-being, but the spatial-temporal dynamics must be fully accounted for.
  • Urbanization does not always reduce the total supply of ecosystem services, but can cause trade-offs; for example, In Beijing, carbon storage has increased by 64% and stormwater runoff has been reduced by 29%, but natural habitat and food production have both decreased.


Policy/Practice Implications of Research

In order to better incorporate urban ecosystem services into policy-making, information on dynamics, trade-offs and alternative ecosystem services must be included in any and all assessments.

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