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The social value of urban nature in Switzerland


Home, R. The social value of urban nature in Switzerland. 2009, University of Zurich, Faculty of Science.

Abstract

This study forms the social science module of the encompassing 'BiodiverCity' project and is explicitly concerned with the development of strategies to enhance biodiversity in Swiss cities while simultaneously enhancing quality of life. The aim is to measure the attitudes of the
residents towards different urban green habitat and landscape types, biodiversity, and single flagship species in urban areas. The virtually undefined nature of the relationships between Swiss urban residents and the natural landscapes available to them, suggests the value of a
multiple-method research strategy. The research strategy included qualitative interviews, a nationwide survey, and case study surveys in Lugano, Lucerne, and Zurich. Usefulness and accessibility of urban green spaces were found to be of fundamental importance for residents, so measures to enhance biodiversity must include the human dimension. An overlap must be found between preferred habitat variables and preferred landscape variables in that the space must simultaneously provide a vehicle for the residents' desired outcomes, while providing habitats. These are however not incompatible because structural
and vegetational complexity is the dominant characteristic of favoured landscape configurations. Preference for particular habitats can also be enhanced by providing
information to the public on the ecological benefits of such habitats, such as through the use of flagship species.

Abstract

This study forms the social science module of the encompassing 'BiodiverCity' project and is explicitly concerned with the development of strategies to enhance biodiversity in Swiss cities while simultaneously enhancing quality of life. The aim is to measure the attitudes of the
residents towards different urban green habitat and landscape types, biodiversity, and single flagship species in urban areas. The virtually undefined nature of the relationships between Swiss urban residents and the natural landscapes available to them, suggests the value of a
multiple-method research strategy. The research strategy included qualitative interviews, a nationwide survey, and case study surveys in Lugano, Lucerne, and Zurich. Usefulness and accessibility of urban green spaces were found to be of fundamental importance for residents, so measures to enhance biodiversity must include the human dimension. An overlap must be found between preferred habitat variables and preferred landscape variables in that the space must simultaneously provide a vehicle for the residents' desired outcomes, while providing habitats. These are however not incompatible because structural
and vegetational complexity is the dominant characteristic of favoured landscape configurations. Preference for particular habitats can also be enhanced by providing
information to the public on the ecological benefits of such habitats, such as through the use of flagship species.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Dissertation
Referees:Schmid B, Lindemann-Matthies P, Hunziker M, Bauer N, Hay P
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:13 Oct 2009 06:43
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:22
Number of Pages:132

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