Brief Critical Analysis of Concepts Used for Assessing the Market Value to Ecosystem Goods and Services in Urban and Spatial Plans Cover Image

Brief Critical Analysis of Concepts Used for Assessing the Market Value to Ecosystem Goods and Services in Urban and Spatial Plans
Brief Critical Analysis of Concepts Used for Assessing the Market Value to Ecosystem Goods and Services in Urban and Spatial Plans

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Author(s): Alexandru-Ionuţ Petrişor
Subject(s): Social Sciences, Fine Arts / Performing Arts, Other, Geography, Regional studies
Published by: Universitatea de Arhitectură şi Urbanism »Ion Mincu«
Keywords: holistic approach; carrying capacity; ecological infrastructure; ecosystem services

Summary/Abstract: Estimating the market value of natural capital is largely influenced by the perception of the environment. Anthropocentric approaches, particularly the sectoral ones still used today by non-specialists tributary to conceptions lasting since the 1950’s, made economists see the environment as an endless resource for human development. This reasoning – “only money matters” – led to the ecological crisis. Its first solution, the ‘zero growth’ concept of the Club of Rome, based on the same model, proved unviable. Later the sustainability concept embedded the progress of systemic ecology, including the shift of its object to coupled socio-ecological complexes. Paradigm changes modified the interpretation of ecological balance, and implicitly the perception of the relation between socio-economic development and biodiversity conservation, analyzed finally through the carrying capacity. The dynamic of this theoretical framework changed the methods used to find the market value of environmental goods and services, moving from the money approach (economic) to the carbon footprint (environmental) and then to ecosystem services provided by the ecological infrastructure (holistic). Sustainability must rely on seeing the environment as hierarchy of coupled socio-ecological systems, and, in practice, impact assessment must look at the effects of human actions on structural integrity and level of ecosystem services provided by the ecological infrastructure.

  • Issue Year: 2016
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 95-104
  • Page Count: 9
  • Language: English