A recent paper explored and compared visitors' valuation of ecosystem services in the Pentland Hills and four of Edinburgh’s parks. Based on 715 responses to user surveys in both study areas the paper identified intense use and high social value for both areas. Several ecosystem services were equally important in both areas, including many cultural ecosystem services. However, there were significant differences in the recreational use for physical exercise, which Pentland Hills users rated more highly than those in the urban green spaces. By contrast, the mitigation of pollutants and carbon sequestration were more highly valued in Edinburgh’s parks. Major differences were further identified for preferences in future land management, with nature-oriented management preferred by about 57% of the interviewees in the Pentland Hills, compared to only 31% in the urban parks. The study highlights the substantial value of upland areas in close vicinity to a city for physically using and experiencing nature, with a strong acceptance of nature conservation.
The full paper is available through open access here:
Schmidt K., Walz A., Jones I., Metzger M.J. (2016) The Sociocultural Value of Upland Regions in the Vicinity of Cities in Comparison with Urban Green Spaces. Mountain Research and Development 36: 465-474.
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