A mixed methods approach to exploring urban ecosystem services

Posted in: Urban water management

This November sees the next talk in the monthly 'Water Colloquium' series organised by WIRC @ Bath exploring the breadth of water research being undertaken at the University of Bath and beyond.

Title: A mixed methods approach to exploring urban ecosystem services: experienced environmental quality and its role in ecosystem assessment

Speaker: Professor Lian Lundy

When: Thursday 16th November 2017 at 1.15pm

Where: Room 3.6, Chancellors' Building, University of Bath (Location and maps)

Abstract: The language of ecosystem services (ES) derives from an understanding that ecosystems (natural and human-made/modified) provide a range of services that are critical to sustaining life e.g. food, water and cultural benefits. The range of ES recognised to be delivered by urban ecosystems is growing rapidly, from mitigation of the urban heat island effect to the reduction in surface water flood risk. The UK National Ecosystem Assessment (2011) stated that access to urban green space is essential for good mental and physical health well-being thus the ES discourse is increasingly contributing to notions of urban sustainability. However, many suggest that inhabitants' experiences of ES may vary quite radically in relation to a range of social and material contextual aspects, which may or may not resonate with the services and benefits identified using a reductive science-led approach. In this presentation, I present initial findings from two mixed method studies undertaken in urban areas in the UK and Brazil and argue that, if the much prophesised wellbeing and resilience benefits of urban ES are to be realised, a science-led approach to designing and assessing ES should be accompanied by a context-sensitive assessment of community needs and liveability aspects.

Biography: Lian is Professor of Environmental Science in the Urban Pollution Research Centre. Her research has focused on sustainable stormwater management, the transport and behaviour of urban pollutants and the use of multi-criteria analysis a decision support tool at a national and international level.

Recent research has applied an ecosystem approach within an urban context and begun to consider the use of sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS) as multi-functional ecosystem service providers within the context of water sensitive cities.

Lian is currently co-ordinator of the EU TEMPUS I-WEB project, supporting three universities in Kazakhstan to develop Bologna-compliant integrated water cycle management MSc and PhD programmes.

She is co-lead of the Risk Assessment and Policy Development working group of the wastewater re-use COST action NEREUS. Lian is co-PI on a Sustainable Society network grant which aims to develop and test a smart phone app to explore linkages between environmental quality and community resilience. She has recently completed research grants for Defra and the Scottish Government focussed on supporting policymakers to implement an ES approach.

Contact: Please email Sarah Eliot if you need any further information.

Posted in: Urban water management


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