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The value of urban gardens and parks: What urban greenery provides for society

Green spaces are places of recreation and social exchange, they regulate the urban climate and absorb heavy rainfall. The transdisciplinary research project "GartenLeistungen" emphasises the high value of the various ecosystem services provided by parks and gardens. Using environmental economic valuations and empirical examples from Stuttgart and Berlin, the researchers show that an urban garden or park provides public benefits of between a hundred thousand and several million euros per year, depending on its size and features. 

Despite their high value for urban society, many gardens and parks are under pressure. The project's practice partners provide insights into current challenges and opportunities: Two community gardens demonstrate with their real-life experiments how they are working to secure their spaces and improve communication with responsible offices - and how they carry out projects on environmental education or rainwater use, for example, despite uncertain prospects. A park operator dealt with the increasing intensity of use and tested approaches to reduce conflicts. Another practice partner explored how cities can achieve a higher degree of self-sufficiency with vertical gardening and sustainable water use. 

The brochure encourages municipalities to strengthen their valuable green spaces - through secure areas, better cooperation and adequate funding. For this purpose, it offers scientifically sound data, figures and arguments to objectify urban policy debates on attractive and sustainable urban development and to facilitate dialogue between different interest groups.