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Local Scale Prioritisation of Green Infrastructure for Enhancing Biodiversity in Peri-Urban Agroecosystems: A Multi-Step Process Applied in the Metropolitan City of Rome (Italy)

Sustainability

Abstract

Urban-rural interfaces represent complex systems that require complex solutions for sustainable development and resilience against pollution, habitat fragmentation, biodiversity loss and impaired flux of ecosystem services (ES). Green infrastructure (GI) is increasingly recognised as an effective tool for addressing such a complexity, but needs priority setting to maximise benefits and minimise drawbacks of implementation. Therefore, a prioritisation approach focused on biodiversity and ES in peri-urban areas is required. In the present work, a systematic and hierarchical framework is proposed for setting priority GI objectives, location and actions aimed at enhancing local biodiversity, ES flux and farming sustainability in urban peripheries. By means of a case study in the Metropolitan City of Rome, the framework allowed identification of the main demand for ES and biodiversity; the most suitable location for GI implementation; and the best cost-effective actions. The GI implementation showed an improvement in terms of wooded hedgerow density, an increase regarding the ecological connectivity of riparian ecosystems, and an increment of agroecosystems designated to enhance the ecological network and wildlife support. Finally, the prioritisation framework contributes to fostering environmental benefits while complying with regulations and management practices from the regional to the farm/field decision level.

Author(s): Capotorti, G; De Lazzari, V; Orti, MA

Journal: Sustainability

Year: 2019

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