New Research: Evaluating an Urban Restoration Project

News | Posted on Monday 3 February 2020

The degradation of urban natural spaces reduces their ability to benefit human populations. Restoration can support urban sustainability by improving both the ecological health of these spaces and the public benefits they provide, but studies have rarely combined both perspectives.

Professor Piran White, co-director of IGDC worked with Dr. Sian de Bell and Professor Hilary Graham on the paper Evaluating Dual Ecological and Well-Being Benefits from an Urban Restoration Project.

The degradation of urban natural spaces reduces their ability to benefit human populations. Restoration can support urban sustainability by improving both the ecological health of these spaces and the public benefits they provide, but studies have rarely combined both perspectives.

The ecological and social benefits of an urban river restoration project relative to an unrestored river was assessed on the basis of the following four principles: 

  • Increasing ecological integrity
  • Benefitting and engaging society
  • Taking account of the past and future
  • Sustainability

With the majority of the world’s population living in urban areas, a major issue is the pressure that development places on green space and biodiversity in cities. Urban natural spaces provide many benefits for people, including wider environmental benefits such as air quality improvement, or improved mental health as a result of visiting these spaces.

  • Ecological health at each site was assessed by analyzing macroinvertebrate samples. 
  • The social benefits were measured by conducting focus groups with local users of green spaces surrounding the two rivers and comparing their responses. 

Read the full paper: Evaluating Dual Ecological and Well-Being Benefits from an Urban Restoration Project.

Contact us

Interdisciplinary Global Development Centre
igdc@york.ac.uk
01904 321042
Department of Politics, University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD, UK
@York_IGDC

Contact us

Interdisciplinary Global Development Centre
igdc@york.ac.uk
01904 321042
Department of Politics, University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD, UK
@York_IGDC