Assessment of the ecosystem services given by rural and urban green areas to preserve high-quality territories from land take: the case of the province of Monza Brianza (Italy)

Published: 16 June 2023
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Rural and urban green areas are essential territories that support life and ecosystems. The significant reduction of these areas due to urbanization is a pressing issue. The process of land take consumes not only land resources but also the connected ecosystems and the benefits generated for human society. Reducing the quantity of land taken is imperative, but preserving high-quality territories is essential to achieving sustainable development. Evaluating the quality of non-urbanized areas can be done by assessing the ecosystem services (ESs) provided by these areas. In this paper, the authors present a further step: an evolution and deepening of the previous methodology (published in 2020) to evaluate the quality of rural and urban green areas through the assessment of the ESs provided. The methodology first allows the identification of the ESs provided by different typologies of rural and urban green areas according to the common international classification of ESs (provisioning, regulation and maintenance, and cultural). Then, it allows the calculation of several singular indexes and a final composite quality index through the use of geographical information systems. An analytic hierarchy process was performed with the creation of different scenarios to consider the different importance of the singular indexes assigned by planners and communities involved. The methodology was applied to the province of Monza Brianza (Italy), for testing and validation purposes. The application to the municipality of Sovico, which is presented in this report, allowed for the identification of areas with higher quality in the different scenarios that were created to consider the relative importance of the territorial characteristics.

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How to Cite

Senes, G., Fumagalli, N., Ferrario, P. S., Rovelli, R., Riva, F., Sacchi, G., Gamba, P., Ruffini, G. and Redondi, G. (2023) “Assessment of the ecosystem services given by rural and urban green areas to preserve high-quality territories from land take: the case of the province of Monza Brianza (Italy)”, Journal of Agricultural Engineering, 54(4). doi: 10.4081/jae.2023.1526.