Research challenges for cultural ecosystem services and public health in (peri-)urban environments
Self archived versionpublished version
MetadataShow full item record
CitationChen, X. de Vries, S. Assmuth, T. Dick, J. Hermans, T. Hertel, O. Jensen, A. Jones, L. Kabisch, S. Lanki, T. Lehmann, I. Maskell, L. Norton, L. Reis, S. (2018). Research challenges for cultural ecosystem services and public health in (peri-)urban environments. SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT, 651 (Part 2) , 2118-2129. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.09.030.
Urbanization is a global trend, and consequently the quality of urban environments is increasingly important for human health and wellbeing. Urban life-style is typically associated with low physical activity and sometimes with high mental stress, both contributing to an increasing burden of diseases. Nature-based solutions that make effective use of ecosystem services, particularly of cultural ecosystem services (CES), can provide vital building blocks to address these challenges. This paper argues that, the salutogenic, i.e. health-promoting effects of CES have so far not been adequately recognised and deserve more explicit attention in order to enhance decision making around health and wellbeing in urban areas. However, a number of research challenges will need to be addressed to reveal the mechanisms, which underpin delivery of urban CES. These include: causal chains of supply and demand, equity, and equality of public health benefits promoted. Methodological challenges in quantifying these are discussed. The paper is highly relevant for policy makers within and beyond Europe, and also serves as a review for current researchers and as a roadmap to future short- and long-term research opportunities.