Ecosystem Service Evaluation for Landscape Design: The Project of a Rural Peri-Urban Park as a Node of the Local Green Infrastructure

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Green Infrastructure (GI) multifunctionality – namely the capacity to deliver a wide range of Ecosystem Services (ES) – is one of the main GI planning principles. It is for this reason that the integration between GI and ES concepts and approaches is increasingly tested. This paper presents the outcomes of an applied research that took up the challenge of implementing GI at the local level through the landscape design of a peri-urban rural park (Chieri, Italy) conceived as a GI node. The park’s project was based on the evaluation of ES, that allowed to highlight the ES performance of alternative design choices and to support the GI design towards multifunctionality. Eventually, Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes were defined in order to foster the implementation of the park’s project. The research, thus: (i) puts in action a multiscalar approach, translating at the local level, through landscape design, GI planning indications; (ii) promotes GI multifunctionality based on a “place-based” vision, that is through the assessment of local features, highlighting the actual area’s potential to provide ES and the existing ES trade-offs; (iii) identifies PES as a tool for increasing the effectiveness of GI implementation.
Ecosystem Services, Green Infrastructure, landscape design, peri-urban park