Urban environmental quality and wellbeing in the context of incomplete urbanization in Brazil: integrating directly experienced ecosystem services into planning

Article


Juntti, M., Costa, H. and Nascimento, N. 2021. Urban environmental quality and wellbeing in the context of incomplete urbanization in Brazil: integrating directly experienced ecosystem services into planning. Progress in Planning. 143, pp. 1-22. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.progress.2019.04.003
TypeArticle
TitleUrban environmental quality and wellbeing in the context of incomplete urbanization in Brazil: integrating directly experienced ecosystem services into planning
AuthorsJuntti, M., Costa, H. and Nascimento, N.
Abstract

The benefits of urban greenspace to residents are increasingly recognized as important to planning for sustainable and healthy cities. However, the way that people interact with and benefit from urban greenspace is context dependent and conditioned by a range of social and material factors. This paper applies and expands the ecosystems services based approach to understanding urban environmental quality and the way in which greenspace is appropriated by residents in the context of incomplete urbanization in three peri-urban target areas in Brazil. We develop and employ the notion of indirect (scientifically detected) and directly experienced ecosystems services, and undertake a science based ecosystem services assessment and a qualitative analysis of interviews, walking narratives and images captured with a smartphone application to understand what functions urban greenspace serves in the daily life of the studied neighborhoods. Findings demonstrate how elements of urban greenspace and what can be termed ecosystem services serve both material and signifying functions and produce subjective and collective benefits and dis-benefits that hinge on aspects of livability such as quality of urban service delivery, housing status and perceptions of crime and neighborhood character. We identify factors that enable, hinder and motivate both active material and interpretative interactions with urban greenspace. The findings suggest that the relationship between ecosystem service provision and wellbeing is better understood as reciprocal rather than one way. Although at the neighborhood scale, fear of crime and poor access to urban services can hinder positive engagements with urban greenspace and experienced benefits form ES, urban squares and fringe vegetation is also being appropriated to address experienced disadvantages. Presently however these local interactions and ecosystem service benefits are overlooked in formal planning and conservation efforts and are increasingly compromised by growing population density and environmental degradation. We make recommendations for a nuanced assessment of the material and interpretative human-nature interactions and associated ecosystem services in an urban context, and discuss the potential for planning initiatives that could be employed to articulate and nurture these important interactions in our target areas.

KeywordsIncomplete urbanisation; Wellbeing; Ecosystem services; Right to the city
Research GroupLaw and Politics
LanguageEnglish
PublisherElsevier
JournalProgress in Planning
ISSN0305-9006
Electronic1873-4510
Publication dates
Online14 May 2019
Print01 Jan 2021
Publication process dates
Deposited09 May 2019
Accepted08 Apr 2019
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
License
Copyright Statement

© 2019 Elsevier Ltd. This author's accepted manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.progress.2019.04.003
Web of Science identifierWOS:000604582700001
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