Insights and opportunities from mapping ecosystem services of urban green spaces and potentials in planning

Urbanization and rapid population growth pose the cities in front of massive challenges in terms of environmental impacts. This paper explores recent progresses in mapping ecosystem services provided by urban green infrastructures (GI) and discuss how GI can contribute to promoting cohesion, resilience and livability toward sustainable and green cities. It also investigates the interlinkages between ecosystem services paradigm, mapping approaches at urban level and benefits provided for human well-being. A literature study focusing on recent research papers is conducted, highlighting new trends on methods and data, unexplored developments and opportunities on literature regarding mapping green infrastructures with respect to planning, management and ecosystem services’ provision. Additionally, an in-depth analysis of selected case studies synthesizes and discusses key insights of quantitative results related to key ecosystem services mapping approaches. The results indicate that mapping efforts integrates multiple disciplines, combining advanced technology and sophisticated models and methods. We argue that mapping ecosystem services would allow urban designers and planning practitioners to help and inform policymakers during the decision process and management of urban landscapes.