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Ecosystem Services

Cultural Ecosystem Services provided by Brownfield Landscapes in the Urban Green Infrastructure: Case Study Ruhr Metropolis, Germany

Tóth, Attila (1) - Antolović Smoljan, Ivana (2) - Ellerbaek, Anna Gerd (3) - Hamm, Astrid (4) - Späth, Renate

(1) Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, Faculty of Horticulture and Landscape Engineering, Department of Garden and Landscape Architecture, Tulipánová 7, SK-949 76 Nitra, Slovakia
(2) Croatian Forest Research Institute, Centre for Forest Ecosystem Goods and Services ‘Josip Ressel’ 154. brigade Hrvatske vojske bb, HR-52000 Pazin, Croatia
(3) City of Copenhagen, Technical and Environmental Administration, City Operations, Urban Space Development, Islands Brygge 37, DK-2300 København S, Denmark
(4) City branchings, Konrad-Miller-Straße 4, D-88213 Ravensburg, Germany
(5) Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Agriculture, Conservation and Consumer Protection of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (MKULNV), Schwannstraße 3, D-40476 Düsseldorf, Germany


Brownfield sites of Emscher Landscape Park represent integral components of metropolitan urban landscapes in Ruhr Metropolis, Germany. They are important industrial heritage sites and have become unique landmarks of the North Rhine-Westphalia Region. These cultural landscapes have always been productive and have gone through several transitional stages, such as production through agriculture and forestry some centuries ago or mining industries during the past two centuries. Due to successive closure of mines in this region over the last few decades, further transitions to ‘new working landscapes’ took place in various ways. Numerous mines have been regenerated and transformed into urban forests and urban green infrastructures providing a wide range of ecosystem services, including social interaction and integration, leisure and recreation, education, heritage preservation, biocultural and aesthetical diversity, cultural industries, job creation and others.

The aim of this paper is to review these ecosystem services and to assess the role of urban green infrastructure in their generation. The assessment is carried out on three selected locations situated in Ruhr Metropolis: 1) Landschaftspark Nord, Duisburg, 2) Zeche Zollverein, Essen and 3) Biomassepark Hugo, Gelsenkirchen.

This paper is a follow-up research initiative started by the international training school on ‘Practical aspects in planning and managing Urban Forests and Green Infrastructures’ organised by COST Action FP1204 ‘Green infrastructure approach: linking environmental with social aspects in studying and managing urban forests (GreenInUrbs)’ in Duisburg, Germany in 2016.

*Corresponding author: Dr. Attila Tóth

COST Action “GreenInUrbs” Training School

Landscape Park Duisburg Nord

Organized by the The Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Agriculture, Conservation and Consumer Protection of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia in cooperation with the Biologische Station Westliches Ruhrgebiet e.V. and the local forest administration the 3rd COST Action FP1204 “GreenInUrbs” Training School took place in the Ruhr Metropolitan Area. From 10th to 14th of October 2016 the main topic “From Brownfields to Green infrastucture and urban forests” was discussed by 20 participants from different countries accross Europe. The importance of urban forestry, biodiversity of industrial brownfields (industrial nature) and green urban infrastructure was shown on different sites e.g. Landscape Park Duisburg Nord, UNESCO World Heritage site Zollverein Coal Mine in the City of Essen or slagheap Rheinelbe in Gelsenkirchen to give guidelines how to establish these things in a former industrial region. An overview of the theoretical background, practical approaches and good practice was given by international experts on site.

Fotos: Renate Späth

Landscape Park Duisburg Nord

Fotos: Mona Vossen

Letzte Änderung am Dienstag, 20. Juli 2021 um 17:11:35 Uhr.

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