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Table 1 An overview of key concepts related to action for integrating nature within cities

From: Evaluating net community benefits of integrating nature within cities

Concept Definition Main Purpose / Strategic Intent Geographic scale Key Literature
Green city A general notion of cities adopting sustainability design and function principles and actions to reduce environmental impacts, with less material, energy and waste flows and urban metabolism, circular economies, increased housing density while expanding open space, more sustainable local businesses [16]. ▪ Multidimensional, responsible society
▪ Overall city-wide enhanced environmental performance
▪ Improved human well-being and liveability
▪ Transformational, city-wide agenda, purposeful implementation
▪ City Scale within the context of environmental impacts on regional and broader hinterlands
Zhou and Williams [16]; Campbell [17]; Lewis [18]; Roseland [19]; Van Dijk [20]; UNEP [21].
Urban open space Provision of recreational activities, separate conflicting land-use function and other externality reductions, segmentation of socioeconomic status or other division localities [22]. ▪ Provision of recreational activities
▪ Separation of conflicting land-use function
▪ Segmentation of socioeconomic status or other division localities
▪ Often incremental, ad hoc implementation
▪ Neighbourhood to metro scale
Habermas [22]; Hajer and Reijndorp, [23]; Ihlanfeldt and Scafidi [24]; Jacobs [25]; Tibbalds [26]; Sennett, [27, 28]; Stanley et al. [29]; Whyte, [30].
Urban green space Integrated areas comprising natural, semi-natural, or artificial green land, providing manifold benefits to different groups of people within the city extent people [30]. ▪ Create meeting places
▪ Enhance community connectivity
▪ Enhance aesthetic value, leisure and recreation
▪ Often incremental, ad hoc implementation
▪ Neighbourhood to metro scale
Tzoulas et al., [31]; Jim and Chen [32]; MacHarg [33]; van Leeuwan et al. [34].
Urban green infrastructure An interconnected network of multifunctional green-spaces that are strategically planned and managed to provide a range of ecological, social, and economic benefits [35]. ▪ Adopts a broad definition of ‘infrastructure’
▪ Beyond ‘constructed’ and technical economic emphasis
▪ Urban-wide network connections
▪ Recognition of the importance of networks and interconnectedness for resilience
▪ More extensive than just broad-scale green ‘space’ planning.
Matthews et al. [35]; Benedict & McMahon [36]; Byrne & Yang [37]; CSIRO [38]; Douglas [39]; Dramstad et al. [40]; Foster et al. [41]; Fulmer [42]; Gill et al. [43]; Hellmund et al. [44].
Biophilic urbanism Biophilic urbanism, with its associated ‘biophilic elements’ are the range of urban changes that are explicitly directed towards implementing biophilic urbanism (BU) principles. BU proposes the incorporation of intentional natural design features across cities, neighbourhoods and buildings to offer daily exposure to natural systems [44]. ▪ Philosophical, psychological and physiological approach to integrating nature into a city’s fabric
▪ To enhance net community wellbeing from the benefits derived people’s innate connection or immersion in nature
▪ Ranging from aesthetic and socio-psychological health benefits to economic efficiencies related to improved functional and instrumental capacities or services of natural systems
▪ Building scale: including green roofs and green walls.
▪ Neighbourhood scale: including bio-swales and green streets.
▪ City scale: including urban parks and green corridors.
Beatley [7, 45]; Desha et al. [46]; Wilson [47]; Ulrich. [12]; Kellert [48]