2019-03-26Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.3390/su11061815
Residential Greenery: State of the Art and Health-Related Ecosystem Services and Disservices in the City of Berlin
Inclusively accessible green areas are essential for livable cities. The residential greenery on a door’s step of urban dwellers has rarely been the subject of research. Here we provide insights into the state of the art of residential greenery in Berlin, Germany. We focus on socially disadvantaged neighborhoods exposed to high loads of environmental stressors and belonging to four relevant building types of Central European cities. 32 plots in eight sample areas were randomly chosen and surveyed during 2017 and 2018. We surveyed the presence of structural elements, the presence and abundance of woody species and the health-related ecosystem (dis-)services (i.e., species’ air filtration and allergenic potential). We analysed the similarity among tree species to assess plant use patterns. The air cleaning and allergenic potential of woody species were assigned based on literature. In order to discuss strategies to improve residential greenery, we performed an analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of these green spaces. We revealed a high dissimilarity of woody species assemblages across sites and within different building types, indicating no common plant use fashion. Recorded species provide moderate to high air filtering capacity. One to two third of all trees have a high allergenic potential that has to be addressed in future plant use decisions. Bike racks, benches, lights and playgrounds are common elements, whereas bioswales, facade-bound greening, atrium, fountains or ponds are rare. Their implementation can enhance the health and wellbeing of local residents. Building-attached greenery can improve densely built up areas of the Wilhelminian period, whereas space-intensive measures can be implemented in the spacious greenery of row–buildings settlements of the 1920s–1970s and of large housing estates of the 1970s–1980s. We revealed a high motivation for (co-)design and care by residents and discussed strategies on transformation towards multi-functional, healthy and biodiversity-friendly residential greeneries.
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