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Tradeoffs between regulating and cultural services as a potential source of hazard risk in urban areas
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1  Technion, Israel Institute of Technology


Green areas in and around the city have often been used by urban inhabitants as a source of food and timber, for recreation, cultural and aesthetic purposes, or as a source of fresh air and other health benefits. More recently, their hazard regulating functions are increasingly valued and acknowledged as a desirable strategy goal to reduce risk to climatic and hydro-meteorological hazards. However, this often generate tradeoffs. Most of the literature on ecosystem services’ tradeoffs has concentrated on provisioning versus cultural and regulating services. The potential tradeoffs arising between managing nature for recreational, spiritual, mental benefits and for hazard regulating functions in urban and peri-urban areas have rarely been explored. In this paper we assess cultural and regulating services in the Carmel peri-urban forest of Haifa (Israel) using participatory mapping GIS-based methods. We interview local stakeholders and users of the Carmel peri-urban forest area. We explore tradeoffs between cultural and regulating services (in particular for fire mitigation) and we link these tradeoffs to different understanding and uses of nature. We find that the stakeholders preferences for cultural purposes and the preservation of the forest often clashes and increases hazard and fire risk. The idea of a cultivated forest landscape has in fact emerged as a strong cultural ecosystem service in Israel, while the transformation of the forest from a less cultivated type improves regulating services, reduces especially fire risk. We conclude that the tradeoffs between cultural and regulating services are a potential measure of hazard risk.

Keywords: ecosystem services tradeoffs; cultural services; regulating services; urban risk; natural hazards; participatory GIS