Restoring ecosystem services in the city while implementing much-needed climate adaptation can create more enjoyable and vibrant cities. As part of the CATCH project, which aims to enhance the climate resilience of midsize cities in the North Sea Region, CSTM developed a tool to support urban planners and decision-makers involved in climate adaptation. It focuses on how to enhance ecosystem services in the urban environment through blue-green infrastructure.
More specifically, the ‘A Stepwise Method for Midsize Cities to Identify, Assess and Value Ecosystem Services’ tool guides practitioners through the steps of identification, assessment and valuation to explore suitable activities and the related natural capital revenues. It covers options ranging from basic activities, which deliver qualitative information, to more advanced options, which require a quantitative analysis. While the tool provides plenty explanation and guidance on what to do in various situations, how to do it, and in what order, the choice between these options is ultimately left to the users. Factors influencing such choices include whether a project has to be evaluated, a project design needs to be optimized, local politics and decision-makers require specific information, or ideas need to be developed how to deal with needs on the agenda of the community or urban planning.
The tool was piloted in four of the CATCH partner cities, Arvika (Denmark), Enschede (Netherlands), Oldenburg (Germany) and Vejle (Denmark), and further developed based on the experiences of various stakeholders within the project.