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Project calendar

25-29 APRIL 2016

3rd OpenNESS Annual Meeting at Leipziger KUBUS, the UFZ conference venue in Leipzig, Germany 


18-20 MAY 2016

OpenNESS Project Steering Committee meeting, Norway


19-23 SEPTEMBER 2016

European Ecosystem Services Conference: Helping nature to help us (OpenNESS final conference, jointly with OPERAs, ESP and ECOPLAN), Antwerp, Belgium

Case 27 - Sustainable urban planning in the metropolitan region of Barcelona

Barcelona Metropolitan Region is one of the most densely populated urban areas in Europe (approx. 5 million inhabitants in 3.242 Km2). Despite urban pressures, forest and agricultural ecosystems are very relevant in the region (approx. 60% and 20% of land cover respectively), including a network of protected natural areas.

Although a large amount of socio-ecological data is available to support landscape and urban planning at the local and regional levels, the ecosystem services approach is not explicitly taken into account in spatial assessments.

The general aim of this case is to integrate the ES approach into landscape and urban planning processes within the metropolitan region of Barcelona. Specific objectives are described as follows:

  • To develop spatially explicit ES indicators which can be derived from available socio-ecological data, obtaining a comprehensive range of ES maps in the case study area.
  • To integrate ES maps in an existing public decision-support tool (called SITxell, see, providing a platform for well-informed ES assessments which can be relevant for landscape and urban planners.
  • To identify ES synergies and trade-offs in order to assess current regional planning conservation objectives.

The case study leaders are Dr. Erik Gómez-Baggethun and Francesc Baró from the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (Autonomous University of Barcelona), who will closely work with the Unit for Planning and Territorial Analysis of the Barcelona Regional Council (Diputació de Barcelona), particularly with Carles Castell, the head of the team, who is leading the SITxell project. Other stakeholders such as some municipal authorities, landscape/urban planning practitioners and experts in landscape and urban ecology will be considered in the process.