Ecology and Society Ecology and Society
E&S Home > Vol. 22, Iss. 3 > Art. 26 > Abstract Open Access Publishing 
Integration of the ecosystem services concept in planning documents from six municipalities in southwestern Sweden

Amanda C Nordin, Centre for Environmental and Climate research, Lund University
Helena I Hanson, Centre for Environmental and Climate research, Lund University
Johanna Alkan Olsson, Centre for Environmental and Climate research, Lund University


Full Text: HTML   
Download Citation


The ecosystem services (ES) concept refers to benefits that humanity receives from nature. Investigating how this concept has been embraced within urban planning is important when assessing the awareness of human dependence on natural functions and the potential for the ES concept to increase this awareness. We analyzed planning documents from three small and three large municipalities in southern Sweden to see how explicitly the ES concept was addressed and which individual services were mentioned. We found that five of the municipalities mentioned the ES concept explicitly and the remaining municipality addressed it implicitly. Comprehensive and green plans referred to the ES concept more explicitly than did plans that focused on a single issue. We used 23 individual ES as a reference; each was mentioned in at least one document, but those concerning habitat and recreation were mentioned most frequently. Individual ES were generally described at an elaborate level. No major differences were identified between large and small municipalities except that large ones mentioned more individual ES. Our study demonstrates that municipalities in southern Sweden have started to integrate the ES concept into their planning documents. However, there is great potential to increase and concretize the awareness of ES.

Key words

green infrastructure; municipalities; nature-based solutions; public policy; spatial planning; Sweden

Copyright © 2017 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087