Influence of Blue-Green and Grey Infrastructure Combinations on Natural and Human-Derived Capital in Urban Drainage Planning

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Abstract

The natural capital and ecosystem services concepts describe the multiple benefits people get from nature. Urbanisation has been identified as one of the key factors influencing the decline of natural capital globally. Urbanisation has also been associated with a recent increase in urban flooding incidents in most cities globally. While the understanding of blue-green infrastructure in urban drainage is well established, little is said about its influence on natural capital. This study utilises the Natural Capital Planning Tool, Benefits Evaluation of Sustainable Drainage Systems tool and expert stakeholder interviews to assess the influence of blue-green and grey infrastructure as adaptation pathways in urban drainage, on natural capital and ecosystem services, and to determine how these contribute to other forms of human-derived capital. Key findings show that blue-green options can enhance natural capital and ecosystem services such as amenity value while also contributing to social and human capital. Although the assessed blue-green options contribute to regulating ecosystem services such as floods regulation, their most significant contribution is in cultural ecosystem services, especially amenity value. It is concluded that incorporating blue-green infrastructure in urban drainage adaptive approaches can mitigate natural capital losses and contribute to other forms of capital crucial for human well-being.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2571
JournalSustainability
Volume13
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Blue-green infrastructure
  • Ecosystem services
  • Natural capital
  • Nature-based solutions
  • Urban drainage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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