Participatory selection of ecosystem services for spatial planning: Insights from the Lisbon Metropolitan Area, Portugal

André Mascarenhas, Tomás B. Ramos, Dagmar Haase, Rui Santos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)


Ecosystem services (ES) assessments have been undergoing rapid developments. Despite considerable advancements it is still difficult to comprehensively assess a large suite of ES, often requiring a selection of the most relevant ones. However, documented and tested procedures to select ES, particularly through participatory processes, are scarce. The aim of this research is to explore the participatory selection of ES, illustrated with the case of the Lisbon Metropolitan Area in Portugal, southwestern Europe. Drawing from a spatial planning context, different types of stakeholders were involved through a combination of participatory techniques. It was possible to identify differences in stakeholders' ES selection, while at the same time arriving at a set of priority ES and linking them with spatial planning goals that entail potential effects on ES. The strengths of the approach include the use of different participatory techniques, of drivers that help translating plans and of an existing ES classification system to support it. On the other hand, the exploratory nature of the research meant that a limited range of types of stakeholders was covered. The participatory approach developed in this research has the potential to be adapted for ES selection in other planning contexts or in strategic environmental assessments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-99
Number of pages13
JournalEcosystem Services
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


  • Ecosystem services
  • Governance
  • Participation
  • Spatial planning
  • Stakeholder engagement

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