Analytical study on modeling of infrastructure for sustainable urban environment
Dr. Kolla Pushpa Nandini, P Srileela
In an increasingly urban planet, many cities and their inhabitants are facing multiple pressing threats within their borders, including heat stress, pollution and growing disconnection with the biosphere. Improving sustainability, resilience and livability in urban areas should be thus a major goal on the policy agenda, from local to global authorities. The operationalization of the ecosystem services framework, building on the concepts of ‘green infrastructure’ and ‘nature-based solutions’, is claimed by a mounting number of policy-makers, practitioners and scientists as the way forward to address many of these urban challenges. However, the extent to which urban green infrastructure can offer relevant solutions to these challenges are rarely considered in ecosystem service assessments, and therefore unknown to decision-makers. This dissertation critically examines the role and contribution of green infrastructure to cope with diverse urban challenges (with a focus on air pollution, greenhouse emissions, heat stress and opportunities for outdoor recreation) at different spatial scales. Building on the ecosystem services cascade model, an operational framework is proposed and applied across four original research chapters to inform planning and management decisions on the basis of the relationships between the green infrastructure’s capacity to deliver ecosystem services, the actual provision or use of these services (flow), and the amount of services demanded by the urban population.