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Project calendar

21-23 MARCH 2017

Final OpenNESS Annual Meeting in Smolenice, Slovakia

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

Please read the OpenNESS case study booklet 'Ecosystem services in operation' for the final outcomes of the cases. More detailed information about the cases and the tools and methods used can be found on Oppla:

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.