iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Green oriented urban development for urban ecosystem services provision in a medium sized city in southern Italy

Francesco Martinico, Daniele La Rosa   , Riccardo Privitera

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 7, Issue 6, Pages 385-395 (2014)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1171-007
Published: May 19, 2014 - Copyright © 2014 SISEF

Research Articles

Collection/Special Issue: RegioResources21
Spatial information and participation of socio-ecological systems: experiences, tools and lessons learned for land-use planning
Guest Editors: Daniele La Rosa, Carsten Lorz, Hannes Jochen König, Christine Fürst

In southern Italy many cities are characterized by a lack of public urban greenspaces. Non-urbanized areas in these cities are suffering from surrounding urbanization pressures. These areas still provide important ecosystem services even if they are limited in size, highly fragmented and often neglected by local planning. New planning strategies are needed in order to protect and enhance the provision of ecosystem services delivered by existing Non-Urbanized areas, but municipalities usually have limited funds for acquiring public green areas via land expropriations. At the same time, requests for new urban development are still considerable. Consequently, it is not realistic to propose strategies for green areas that do not include new developments. The paper illustrates a strategy for a Green Oriented Urban Development (GOUD) that has been applied for the Master Plan of Catania, a medium sized city in Sicily (southern Italy). The strategy includes a limited amount of developments as well as new greenspaces in selected areas (Resource Zones), through the transfer of property and development rights between the municipality and developers. The strategy will allow to enhance the provision of ecosystem services, especially cultural services (thanks to a dramatic increase of accessibility to new greenspaces), regulating services (through climate regulation by new green land covers) and provisioning services such as urban agricultural products. Results show that it is possible to improve urban ecosystem services creating a more liveable and healthy urban environment at reduced cost for the municipal administrations.


Urban Development, Ecosystem Services, Urban Planning

Authors’ address

Francesco Martinico
Daniele La Rosa
Riccardo Privitera
Department of Architecture, University of Catania, v. S. Sofia, I-95125 Catania (Italy)

Corresponding author

Daniele La Rosa


Martinico F, La Rosa D, Privitera R (2014). Green oriented urban development for urban ecosystem services provision in a medium sized city in southern Italy. iForest 7: 385-395. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1171-007

Academic Editor

Raffaele Lafortezza

Paper history

Received: Oct 31, 2013
Accepted: Dec 27, 2013

First online: May 19, 2014
Publication Date: Dec 01, 2014
Publication Time: 4.77 months

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