The dynamics of social-ecological systems in urban landscapes: Stockholm and the National Urban Park, Sweden

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2004 Jun:1023:308-22. doi: 10.1196/annals.1319.017.


This study addresses social-ecological dynamics in the greater metropolitan area of Stockholm County, Sweden, with special focus on the National Urban Park (NUP). It is part of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) and has the following specific objectives: (1) to provide scientific information on biodiversity patterns, ecosystem dynamics, and ecosystem services generated; (2) to map interplay between actors and institutions involved in management of ecosystem services; and (3) to identify strategies for strengthening social-ecological resilience. The green areas in Stockholm County deliver numerous ecosystem services, for example, air filtration, regulation of microclimate, noise reduction, surface water drainage, recreational and cultural values, nutrient retention, and pollination and seed dispersal. Recreation is among the most important services and NUP, for example, has more than 15 million visitors per year. More than 65 organizations representing 175,000 members are involved in management of ecosystem services. However, because of population increase and urban growth during the last three decades, the region displays a quite dramatic loss of green areas and biodiversity. An important future focus is how management may reduce increasing isolation of urban green areas and enhance connectivity. Comanagement should be considered where locally managed green space may function as buffer zones and for management of weak links that connect larger green areas; for example, there are three such areas around NUP identified. Preliminary results indicate that areas of informal management represent centers on which to base adaptive comanagement, with the potential to strengthen biodiversity management and resilience in the landscape.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • City Planning / methods*
  • Conservation of Natural Resources / methods
  • Ecosystem*
  • Recreation
  • Social Environment*
  • Sweden