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Assessing Mismatches in the Provision of Urban Ecosystem Services to Support Spatial Planning: A Case Study on Recreation and Food Supply in Havana, Cuba

Maria Susana Orta Ortiz () and Davide Geneletti ()
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Maria Susana Orta Ortiz: Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering, University of Trento, Via Mesiano, 77, I-38123 Trento, Italy
Davide Geneletti: Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering, University of Trento, Via Mesiano, 77, I-38123 Trento, Italy

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 7, 1-21

Abstract: Integrating information about how ecosystem services (ES) are provided and benefited from in spatial planning is essential to enhance quality of life in urban areas. This study aims to assess mismatches in the provision of urban ES. Specifically, it compares the amount of services that urban dwellers currently benefit from with the capacity of green spaces to provide service and the ES demand, in order to assess two mismatches: “unsustainable flow” and “unsatisfied demand”, respectively. We focus on two ES, recreation and food supply, and conduct an empirical study in two adjacent municipalities of the city of Havana, Cuba. The methodological approach includes: the identification of services providing and demanding areas; and the quantification of mismatches by carrying out a spatial comparison between critical capacity and flow, and demand and flow. Results show that urban green spaces may be potentially exposed to overcrowding. Concerning food supply, a mismatch between demand and flow emerged in both of the municipalities. The assessment can support planners in addressing the sustainable use of green spaces and the equitable distribution of ES benefits. However, its applicability requires a deep understanding of local specificities, including demand levels, accessibility to ES, and sustainability thresholds.

Keywords: urban ecosystem services; spatial planning; mismatches; sustainable use; equitable distribution (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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