University of Twente Student Theses


Ecosystem Services and Green Infrastructure in Cities

Alagumannan, Pravinraj (2019) Ecosystem Services and Green Infrastructure in Cities.

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Abstract:With the general acceptance that climate change is happening and urban areas are expanding, the green lands are under pressure and the abundance of vegetation is under threat worldwide. The awareness of this reality and its potential effects is increasing as the occurrence of extreme weather events. Climate change in the Netherlands has unfavourable effects such as flooding due to peak rainfall, and droughts are becoming more frequent and severe in several parts of the country. In order to adapt to urban climate change, improving water resource management has become a necessity. Green infrastructure can be seen as a potential solution for water resource management and it also provides opportunities to recuperate green space and built-up ecosystems in the urban environment. The objective of this thesis is to evaluate the four green infrastructure methods (green roof, roof garden, polder roof, and roof park) used by “De Dakdokters”. To determine their possible impacts and improvements in adapting to urban climate change in the Netherlands. Through the analysis of their ecological, economic and socio-cultural values offered by each method, the recommendations for further enhancing their impacts have been provided. The research data was gathered by conducting interviews with experts from different universities and with company representatives and by examining relevant documents. Several benefits of the methods were identified, such as rainwater buffer, air purification, reduced ambient temperature, increased longevity of roofs, reduced energy consumption, and improved urban biodiversity, social cohesion, and healthy environment. The range of benefits for each green infrastructure method was also identified and presented. Furthermore, the strengths and weaknesses of each green infrastructure were described and compared based on the assessment of the benefits. Finally, recommendations were proposed to improve the green infrastructure of De Dakdokters for adapting to urban climate change. These are: 1) Extensive roofing with growing media over at least 75% of the roof footprint of the building. 2) The roofing system should have maximum runoff coefficient. 3) Existing building analysis must be conducted to determine the structural load limitation. 4) Having more research that learns from miscalculations in roof design, to avoid error repetition in future roofs. 5.) Propagating and testing the roof potentials could develop robust green infrastructure plant communities.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:43 environmental science, 76 recreation, leisure
Programme:Environmental and Energy Management MSc (69319)
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