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Ecosystem Services in Spatial Planning: Towards Sustainable Development in the Swedish Physical Planning Process
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis aims at defining the connection between the increasingly popular ecosystem services theory and its practical implications for sustainable development in Swedish physical spatial planning. A literature study was made to summarize the ecosystem services and resilience thinking concepts (with an emphasis on ecosystem services), their definitions and potential uses in physical spatial planning. This overview was then applied in choosing a concept framework to be tested in a case-study: the possible changes in ecosystem services and their values in a land-use trade off situation. To gather insight into the benefits of the ecosystem services concept, compared to environmental integration into physical spatial planning on a municipal level today, the literature study was extended to encompass a short overview of environmental management in the Swedish planning system. Finally, the case study was introduced to municipal employees with strong ties to the planning process, in order to gage their opinions on the ecosystem services concept and its usefulness in planning for sustainability and increased human wellbeing. The results of these interviews showed a generally positive attitude towards the concept as a way to gather and communicate ecological and socio-cultural information to decision makers. The economic valuation was deemed less important as the method is fraught with such difficulties. Overall, the ecosystem services and resilience thinking concepts have great potential to gather the discontinuous environmental management methods toward sustainable (ecologic) development, but in order for this to happen, the municipalities need to be given the right resources, and incentives, for implementation. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
ecosystem services, resilience thinking, physical spatial planning, sustainable development
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-19823OAI: diva2:645334
Subject / course
Natural Science
Educational program
International Master's Programme in Ecotechnology and Sustainable Development NEKAA 120 higher education credits
Available from: 2013-11-19 Created: 2013-09-04 Last updated: 2013-11-19Bibliographically approved

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Ecosystem Services in Spatial Planning Sofie Sundler(1080 kB)429 downloads
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Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

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Department of Ecotechnology and Sustainable Building Engineering
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