2020-12-14Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.3390/su122410446
Ecosystem Services of Urban Agriculture: Perceptions of Project Leaders, Stakeholders and the General Public
Within the scholarly debate, Urban Agriculture (UA) has been widely acknowledged to provide diverse environmental and socio-cultural ecosystem services (ESs) for cities. However, the question of whether these potential benefits are also recognized as such by the involved societal groups on the ground has not yet been investigated. This paper aims at (1) assessing the perceived ESs of UA, comparing the views of different societal groups in the city of Bologna, Italy (namely: UA project leaders, stakeholders and the general public) and (2) to identify differences in the evaluation of specific UA types (indoor farming, high-tech greenhouses, peri-urban farms, community-supported agriculture, community rooftop garden and urban co-op). In total, 406 individuals evaluated 25 ESs via a standardized Likert-scale survey. The study unveiled similarities and divergences of perceptions among the different societal groups. The statistical analysis indicated that the general public and UA stakeholders agree on the high relevance of socio-cultural ESs, while provisioning ESs was considered as less significant. UA types focusing on social innovation were expected to provide higher socio-cultural ESs whereas peri-urban activities were more closely linked to habitat ESs. We assume that involvement and knowledge of UA are determining factors for valuing the provision of ESs through UA, which needs to be considered for ES valuation, particularly in a policymaking context.
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