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Publication Date

August 2022

Abstract

Urban parks, as one of the most significant urban green areas (UGA), bring many direct or indirect benefits, including but not limited to ecosystem services (ES) (Mexia et al. 2018). These services are often generalized, unquantified and poorly supported by empirical evidence and their negative consequences – disservices are rarely mentioned (Roman et al., 2021; Pataki et al., 2011). In order to improve planning, design and management of UGA that can increase their environmental benefits (Xie et al. 2019), better understanding and additional field research of ES and disservices is required. As a result of a survey of employees of the Institute for Nature Conservation of Vojvodina Province that manages the park and on-site users, this study represents a research of the perceived value of generated ES on the example of Kamenički park in Novi Sad, as there are no studies on the actual value of those ES. After identifying major ES, the employees and users evaluated them by their perception on a scale of 1 – the ES is well provided, 2 – service is provided but can be enhanced and 3 – the service is not provided, but has potential. Employees mainly emphasized regulation and supporting services (regulation of air quality, noise reduction, wind protection, maintaining biodiversity), but also cultural services (educational role, recreation and enjoying nature, spiritual peace and prosperity). Users opted mainly for cultural services (recreation and enjoying nature and inspiration for culture, art and design), but also for supporting services like maintaining biodiversity. The specific location, valuable natural and cultural-historical characteristics of Kamenički park contribute to the provision of numerous ES, but also offer the opportunity to develop additional ones that are currently not represented or are not sufficiently provided. The opinions and needs of stakeholders and users regarding ES can be a guideline in planning in accordance with the ES, which is a step to sustainable cities. Quantifying the degree to which various ES are related to plant diversity and structure would provide evidence of the ability to manipulate designed ecosystems to maximize the benefits they provide to urban landscapes (Nighswander et al. 2021).

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