Type: study, ecosystem services, green structure
Client: City of Uusikaupunki
In support of partial master plan planning, a blue-green structure and ecosystem service study of the immediate surroundings of the city center was done. The goal of the study was to secure the area’s most important nature values and ecosystem services as the urban structure becomes denser.
The study analyzed the area’s blue-green structure and the tree-lined, open and water-related networks that guarantee its vitality and functionality using geospatial data methods. The work utilized both Uusikaupunki’s existing and openly available materials, which were supplemented with aerial photo interpretation and observations from field visits. In the blue-green structure of the study area, clear differences were observed between the center and the more widely built areas. In the networks, both more unified entities and breakpoints were observed both in the urban environment and on its edges. Networks are important for organisms that depend on ecosystems, such as the flying squirrel found in Uusikaupunki and various pollinators. Network-related development needs were highlighted in the action recommendations.
The study looked at the following ecosystem service entities in the study area: regulation of rainwater and meltwater and environmental harm, maintenance of habitats, pollination, food production, and the well-being effects provided by nature. It was felt that there is a significant demand for these ecosystem services in the study area, which is only expected to grow with urbanization and climate change. Ecosystem services are very sensitive to land use changes, which gives careful planning a particularly high value.
The action recommendations highlighted the most important blue-green structures and networks for the area. Means were presented to secure these as the city becomes denser. The recommendations also highlighted the significant potential of the review area for recreational use made possible by the blue-green structure.