Ecosystem services can be a critical element of urban resilience planning, especially given social, economic, and environmental impacts associated with climate change. These services are advantageous for any community, but especially for those with limited resources, since green infrastructure often require less capital to function than comparable grey infrastructure. Nevertheless, to implement this nature-based approach effectively, it is necessary to assess and fill gaps in existing policy frameworks. The authors investigate how the city of Edmonton has integrated ecosystem services into its urban resilience planning, and identify key areas for improvement. Their analysis highlights key policy mechanisms and considerations that enable the effective integration of ecosystem services into Edmonton’s landscape, and they critique Edmonton’s approach by identifying significant conceptual gaps, including the separation of human and non-human systems, limited consideration for social accessibility, and an underdeveloped approach to ecosystem service evaluation. The authors provide specific policy recommendations to address gaps and improve urban resilience.

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Full citation:

Zazula, N., Birchall, SJ. (2024). Urban resilience through ecosystem services in Edmonton, Canada: An assessment of gaps and recommendations. Urban Ecosystems.