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A framework for conceptualizing the resilience of urban green spaces in transition—The case of Frankfurt Rhine-Main
1  Darmstadt University of Technology


This study emphasizes the significance of urban green spaces in urban planning and suggests a foundational framework for conceptualizing their social-ecological resilience through the studied case, the Frankfurt Rhine-Main region. Considering the increased frequency and severity of main urban hazards—namely flood, drought, and heat wave—the role of urban green spaces in adapting the outcomes of a changing climate becomes increasingly important. At the same time, considering the need to densify the urban settings due to increasing housing demand, densification of inner-city areas is often employed as a strategy against urban sprawl. This competition for spatial reserves brings about an urban land-use conflict in many growing metropolitan regions in the world. The Frankfurt Rhine-Main region, with its peaking rates of housing demand and increased intensity of climate-related urban hazards, is no exception to this trend. Although urban resilience can be a very useful concept in understanding global urban phenomena, due to its eclectic nature, scientific works produced in this field usually face the risk of either oversimplification or over-complication. This paper observes urban green spaces as urban social-ecological systems and from the standpoint of social-ecological resilience, it brings together the concepts of (i) land-use conflict regarding the use of spatial reserves either for climate adaptation or urban growth and (ii) supportive or restrictive nature of the urban governance. The suggested conceptual framework lays a context-specific foundation to eventually enable a comprehensive analysis of the current situation (base case) and to inform future interventions (alternative cases).

Keywords: urban social-ecological systems; urban green spaces; urban transformations; urban resilience; Frankfurt Rhine-Main