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

Adam Czarnecki, Anna Lewandowska-Czarnecka, Genowefa Zielińska



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.


ecosystem services; sustainable cities; development; recreation; urban space

Full Text:



Artinano B., Salvador P., Alonso D. G., Querol X. & Alastuey A., 2004, Influence of traffic on the PM10 and PM2.5 urban aerosol fractions in Madrid (Spain), Science of the Total Environment 334-335: 111-123.

Ashworth G. & Page S. J., 2011, Urban tourism research: Recent progress and current paradoxes, Tourism Management 32: 1–15.

Boyd J. & Banzhaf S., 2007, What are ecosystem services? The need for standardized environmental accounting units, Ecological Economics 63(2–3): 616–626.

Burkhard B., Petrosillo I. & Costanza R., 2010, Ecosystem services – bridging ecology, economy and social sciences, Ecological Complexity 7: 257–259.

Costanza R., 2008, Ecosystem services: multiple classification systems are needed, Biological Conservation 141: 350-352.

Cowling R. M., Egoh B., Knight A. T., O’Farrell P. J., Reyers B., Rouget’ll M., Roux D. J., Welz A. & Wilhelm-Rechman A., 2008, An operational model for mainstreaming ecosystem services for implementation, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 105(28): 9483-9488.

Czarnecki A. & Lewandowska-Czarnecka A., 2012, Socioeconomic Versus Natural System, A Dynamic Lake Landscape: A Case Study of Jeziorak Lake in Poland, [in:] S. E. Jorgensen (ed.), Design@Nature and Ecodynamics 7(3): 261-273, WIT Press, Southampton, Boston.

Daily G. C., 1997, Introduction: What are Ecosystem Services? [in:] G. C. Daily (ed.), Nature’s Services: Societal Dependence on Natural Ecosystems, Island Press, Washington, D. C.: 1-10.

Doughty M. R. & Hammond G. P., 2004, Sustainability and the built environment at and beyond the city scale, Building and Environment 39: 1223–1233.

Egger S., 2006, Determining a sustainable city model, Environmental Modelling & Software 21: 1235-1246.

Farber S. C., Costanza R. & Wilson M. A., 2002, Economic and ecological concepts for valuing ecosystem services, Ecological Economics 41: 375–392.

Fisher B., Turner K. R. & Morling P., 2009, Defining and classifying ecosystem services for decision making, Ecological Economics 68: 643-653.

Gómez-Sal A., Belmontes J.-A. & Nicolau J.-M., 2003, Assessing landscape values: a proposal for a multidimensional conceptual model, Ecological Modelling 168: 319–341.

Gospodini A., 2006, Portraying, classifying and understanding the emerging landscapes in the post-industrial city, Cities 23(5): 311–330.

Jarrar O. M. & Al-Zoabi A. Y., 2008, The applicability of sustainable city paradigm to the city of Jerusalem: Criteria and indicators of efficiency, Building and Environment 43: 550–557.

Kenworthy J. R. & Laube F. B., 1996, Automobile dependence in cities: an international comparison of urban transport and land use patterns with implications for sustainability, Environmental Impact Assessment Review 16: 279-308.

Lurton B., 1998, Sustainable Cities: Oxymoron, Utopia, or Inevitability?, The Social Science Journal 35(1): 1-13.

Mega V., 2000, Viewpoint Cities inventing the civilization of sustainability: an odyssey in the urban archipelago of the European Union, Cities 17(3): 227–236.

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005, Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Synthesis, Island Press/World Resources Institute, Washington, DC.

OECD, 2002, Governance for Sustainable Development, Five OECD Case Studies.

Rogers R., 1997, Cities for a small planet, Faber and Faber, London.

Rotmans J., van Asselta M. & Vellinga P., 2000, An integrated planning tool for sustainable cities, Environmental Impact Assessment Review 20: 265–276.

Strange I., 1997, Planning for change, conserving the past: towards sustainable development policy in historic cities?, Cities 14(4): 227-233.

Partnerzy platformy czasopism