City-wide Ecosystem Assessments-Lessons from Birmingham

Oliver Horlzinger*, Dan van der Horst, Jon Sadler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores how Ecosystem Assessments and ecosystem valuation can serve decision-making at the municipal scale and how to make best use of existing evidence. We analyse the specific demands of local decision-makers for evidence about the value of ecosystem services and evaluate which barriers prevent better implementation of the ecosystem services concept at the municipal level. We argue that improved information is not only needed at the national and international level, but also at the local and regional level which is the scales at which planning and policy decisions affect ecosystems. Considering the everyday circumstances of the decision-makers, relevant evidence has to be presented in a 'fit for purpose' format that can easily be accessed and operationalized.We present a case study of an Ecosystem Assessment for Birmingham, UK, that provides an important first step towards integrating the value of ecosystem services into everyday decision-making at the municipal scale. This is the first city-wide Ecosystem Assessment of this kind. We conclude with a call for demand-driven, bottom-up research acknowledging the key role that political institutions play in this process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-105
Number of pages8
JournalEcosystem Services
Early online date2 Jun 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2014


  • Benefit transfer
  • Ecosystem Assessment
  • Ecosystem valuation
  • Local decision-making
  • Scale
  • Urban

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Ecology
  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Geography, Planning and Development


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