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Journal Articles Urban Ecosystems Year : 2024

Urban pondscape connecting people with nature and biodiversity in a medium-sized European city (Geneva, Switzerland)

Abstract

The current progressive increase in urbanisation is a contributing factor to the alarming rate of decrease in biodiversity worldwide, so it is critical to propose new solutions that bring nature, and their associated benefits, back to cities. Urban ponds and pondscapes are potential Nature-based Solutions that play a crucial role in the conservation and promotion of biodiversity, as well as providing other ecosystem services. Therefore, it is important to understand people's perception of the contribution that these ponds/pondscapes make in their daily lives. The aim of this study was to assess public perception of the value of the multiple ecosystem services, here referred to as Nature's Contributions to People (NCPs), provided by urban ponds with a focus on biodiversity. To achieve it, we conducted a face-to-face questionnaire survey among 331 visitors of urban parks and nature reserves in a medium-sized European city (Geneva, Switzerland). The results show that people highly value the different contributions provided by urban ponds, and that contact with nature is the main motivation for visiting urban pondscapes. Their positive view about the provided NCPs and also their acknowledgement of an improved quality of life suggest a public acceptance of these ponds. We also found that gender and income do not influence public perception of the contributions provided by urban pondscapes. Additionally, the biodiversity of urban ponds was highly appreciated, but there was a knowledge gap relating to biodiversity conservation, as both native and exotic species were valued equally. In conclusion, ponds are Nature-based Solutions that are very well adapted and accepted in cities, and in the future they should be part of the greening (and blueing) of urban planning to conserve and enhance freshwater biodiversity whilst also providing NCPs.
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Origin : Publication funded by an institution

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hal-04476855 , version 1 (26-02-2024)

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Fernanda Vasco, Jacques-Aristide Perrin, Beat Oertli. Urban pondscape connecting people with nature and biodiversity in a medium-sized European city (Geneva, Switzerland). Urban Ecosystems, 2024, ⟨10.1007/s11252-023-01493-y⟩. ⟨hal-04476855⟩
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