Humanity is increasingly urban, but continues to depend on Nature for its survival. Cities are dependent on the ecosystems beyond the city limits, but also benefit from internal urban ecosystems. The aim of this paper is to analyze the ecosystem services generated by ecosystems within the urban area. ‘Ecosystem services’ refers to the benefits human populations derive from ecosystems. Seven different urban ecosystems have been identified: street trees; lawns/parks; urban forests; cultivated land; wetlands; lakes/sea; and streams. These systems generate a range of ecosystem services. In this paper, six local and direct services relevant for Stockholm are addressed: air filtration, micro climate regulation, noise reduction, rainwater drainage, sewage treatment, and recreational and cultural values. It is concluded that the locally generated ecosystem services have a substantial impact on the quality-of-life in urban areas and should be addressed in land-use planning.
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