Education

Ecosystem services for sustainable urban development

Pilot project that contributed to the development of model practices for the use of ecosystem services for sustainable urban development and their popularisation.

Project implementation period: April 2011 – March 2013

Project goals:

The main goal of the project was to improve the management of cities and companies in Poland. In particular, consideration has been given to incorporating the principles and tools of sustainable development into everyday planning practice and decision making processes in these organizations, including the latest achievements in the field of ecology and economics. It was also connected with the optimization of spending on infrastructure and prevention of expensive, “unbalanced” investments, which have long-term adverse effects on the environment, society and economy.

Detailed project goals are:

  • Dissemination of the use of valuation of ecosystem services in planning sustainable development of cities and companies;
  • Creating a network of specialists – practitioners of sustainable local development and sustainable development of the organizations.

The project covered a number of diverse, interrelated, mutually reinforcing activities. These activities have been planned in a manner ensuring effective inclusion of a wide group of stakeholders in the project, both at the local level – the city of Łódź, as well as nationwide and international.

Implemented activities:

  • Research and analysis of barriers to the survival of trees in cities.
  • Two editions of e-learning training in English. Introduction to sustainable development and valuation of ecosystem services (spring 2011 and 2012). The training was addressed to participants from Central and Eastern Europe and the countries of the Baltic Sea basin, and their aim was to increase their knowledge of the basics of sustainable development and the importance of ecosystem services as well as increase their ability to implement the principles learned in the practice of companies and urban communities.
  • Two editions of the Summer AcademyChallenges of Sustainable Development in Poland (3-23 July 2011, Łódź, 1-21 July 2012, Sopot). Each edition was a three-week intensive English language training in practical implementation of the principles of sustainable development in business and local communities. The program in relation to previous years has been extended with the use of ecosystem services valuation tools in managing sustainable local development of cities and business.
  • Educational and participatory workshop What are the possible solutions to the problem of disappearing trees in cities? This activity was aimed at presenting to a wider group of stakeholders in Lodz the results of research and analysis, in order to conduct a structured discussion on the problem of disappearing trees in cities. The organisation of a meeting with a diverse group of stakeholders that differ in their needs, goals and values ​ allowed for a diverse and multifaceted look at the analysed problem. The results of the discussion were an important contribution to the development of a textbook for local government authorities.
  • International scientific seminar: Synthesizing different perspectives on the value of urban ecosystem services
     (15-16 July 2011, Łódź). The two-day seminar was attended by eminent scientists from Poland and abroad, who deal with this subject in the field of research. The article prepared after the Seminar was published in the Special Issue of Landscape and Urban Planning.
  • Textbook for local authorities in the cities Nature in the city, in the series Sustainable Development – Applications (No. 3/2012). The publication covered current good practices in this area from Poland and abroad. It was developed under the scientific supervision of Dr Jakub Kronenberg and Dr Tomasz Bergier.
  • Publication of the Polish language version of the TEEB guide for decision-makers at the local and regional level. The TEEB project (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) has been implemented since 2007, affiliated with UNEP and financed by the EU and the governments of Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Japan. This is the largest project implemented in recent years, the purpose of which is to determine the importance and valuation of ecosystem services on a global scale. Its task is to indicate the dependence of the economy on ecosystem services. One of its effects are practical guidebooks synthesizing the most important information and drawing attention to the practical side of implementation of the discussed strategies.

The project was carried out by the Sendzimir Foundation in partnership with:

  • University of Leipzig, Germany
  • University of Lodz
  • European Regional Center for Ecohydrology under the auspices of UNESCO, Łódź
  • Fraunhofer Center for Central and Eastern Europe MOEZ, Leipzig, Germany
  • Humboldt University, Faculty of Landscape Ecology, Berlin, Germany
  • Baltic University Program, Uppsala, Sweden
  • AGH University of Science and Technology, Krakow
  • Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Sopot

The project was supported by:

  • Chief Nature Conservator, Deputy Minister of Environment Janusz Zaleski
  • ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability
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