Changes in the preferences for the ecosystem service use and the effects in a city located along a river: a preliminary study based on the example of Toruń (Poland) compared to the Isle of Dogs in London
Keywordsecosystem services, sustainable cities, development, recreation, urban space
Ecosystem services originated from various ecological units, local as well as global, hierarchically, they depend on the structure and functions of the ecosystem under study and its human community. They are involved in controlling and maintaining the development of natural resources in the ecosystem, human activities and prosperity through the use of material and non-material benefits. The technology brought in as well as developed by the application of those benefits, enhance the ecological capacity for our human community and in consequences may depend on the decisions brought about by private and public interests. Other forms of ecosystem services also immerge as a direct and indirect product from human pressure on the environment, because the ecosystem exploited by man is most often from a sink of destructive chemical and physical factors, they result in ecosystem services out of an unhealthy environmental state.
This study deals with applicability of the ecosystem service paradigm, and presents the results obtained in Toruń, a city developing close to the Vistula River from medieval times. Preference of choice among a wide variety of ecosystem services can be provided in this setting, so it is interesting to compare Toruń to other cities where exceptional results are obtained. The reference point in this comparison is a system of similar size but which has developed within a much bigger and stronger urban ecosystem. This is the Isle of Dogs on the Thames River in London.
Our analysis shows that currently, there are strong differences between the two cities in their demand for ecosystem services and their interaction with the public sphere, design and art. On the Isle of Dogs, there is a stronger connection between the ecosystems and the design of space to create an interesting streetscape in comparison to Toruń. The connection between the public and private zones to achieve the attractiveness to the city and to combine art and design with environmental solutions has brought about excellent results in London.
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