Ecosystem services assessment tools for regenerative urban design in oceania
journal contributionposted on 28.06.2021, 00:44 by F Delpy, MP Zari, Bethanna Jackson, R Benavidez, T Westend
Tools that spatially model ecosystem services offer opportunities to integrate ecology into regenerative urban design. However, few of these tools are designed for assessing ecosystem services in cities, meaning their application by designers is potentially limited. This research reviews and compares a range of ecosystem services assessment tools to find those that are most suited for the urban context of Oceania. The tool classification includes considerations of type of input and output data, time commitment, and necessary skills required. The strengths and limitations of the most relevant tools are further discussed alongside illustrative case studies, some collected from literature and one conducted as part of this research in Wellington, Aotearoa using the Land Utilisation and Capability Indicator (LUCI) tool. A major finding of the research is that from the 95 tools reviewed, only four are judged to be potentially relevant for urban design projects. These are modelling tools that allow spatially explicit visualisation of biophysical quantification of ecosystem services. The ecosystem services assessed vary among tools and the outputs’ reliability is often highly influenced by the user’s technical expertise. The provided recommendations support urban designers and architects to choose the tool that best suits their regenerative design project requirements.