Spatial and Landscape Planning

A place for ecosystem services

Authored by: Christina von Haaren , Christian Albert , Carolin Galler

Routledge Handbook of Ecosystem Services

Print publication date:  January  2016
Online publication date:  January  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138025080
eBook ISBN: 9781315775302
Adobe ISBN:


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The recognition of the ecosystem services (ES) concept is rising in spatial and landscape planning (Maes et al., 2012; Hauck et al., 2013; see also Odam, 2016). Furthermore, policy changes in Europe, such as those currently discussed for the Environmental Impact Assessment, the Water Framework Directive and the Habitats Directive, may trigger the introduction of the ES concept in practice. In countries with a long tradition of spatial and landscape planning, certain aspects of the ES approach often already exist in evaluation and impact assessment methodologies (e.g. Albert et al., 2014a). Additionally, the use of European or national legislation to derive response options and routines for implementation already incorporates a specific ES perspective. However, the existing achievements of land use and landscape planning do not mean that the ES approach is simply a new name for an old approach for spatial environmental planning. On the contrary, considerable opportunities and challenges could arise by integrating the ES concept into the theoretical framework of spatial and landscape planning (von Haaren and Albert, 2011). Significantly, the long-standing methodological practice, together with the implementation routines in spatial and landscape planning, may lead the way for conceptual adaptations (or variations) of the ES concept in response to implementation conditions (von Haaren et al., 2014). Thus, added value from cross-fertilisation may be expected by bringing the two spheres together. The following sections will outline: the general features of spatial and landscape planning that define the application of the ES concept as well as present deficits; the potential of the ES approach to compensate for shortcomings of spatial and landscape planning; examples of how this could be methodologically achieved; and the added value of the ES approach for implementation.

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