Chiara Cortinovis

Chiara Cortinovis
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | HU Berlin · Department of Geography

PhD
Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow @ Landscape Ecology Lab, Geographisches Institut, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

About

36
Publications
16,346
Reads
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984
Citations
Citations since 2016
36 Research Items
969 Citations
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Introduction
I do research within the field of sustainability science. I work at the interface between urban planning and ecology to investigate how nature can make our cities healthier, more livable, and resilient to climate change. My current research focuses on urban densification and its environmental and social impacts. More in general, I am interested in the relation between urbanization patterns and wellbeing, and in innovative planning approaches that integrate ecological knowledge.
Additional affiliations
June 2019 - October 2020
Lund University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
June 2018 - May 2019
Università degli Studi di Trento
Position
  • PostDoc Position
June 2018 - May 2019
Università degli Studi di Trento
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
November 2014 - April 2018
Università degli Studi di Trento
Field of study
  • Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering - curriculum: Architecture and Planning, Landscape
October 2005 - April 2011
Politecnico di Milano
Field of study
  • Building Engineering/Architecture

Publications

Publications (36)
Article
Full-text available
Performance-based planning is advocated as a promising alternative to more common prescriptive approaches (e.g., traditional zoning), to manage the complexity of current urban development in a flexible and effective way. The aim of this paper is to develop and test an innovative performance-based planning approach built around the assessment of eco...
Article
Full-text available
While ecosystem service (ES) assessments become a more and more important source of knowledge, there is a need for synthesis approaches that make the results usable to support decisions. Effective synthesis approaches can reduce the information burden produced by multiple ES assessments and help decision-makers to compare alternative options and to...
Article
Full-text available
During the COVID-19 emergency, cities around the world introduced measures to guarantee physical distancing that restricted access to urban parks and green areas, with potentially negative effects on citizens’ health and wellbeing. This study aims at providing insights to manage access to urban green space in physical distancing times, when the ris...
Article
Full-text available
Many exemplary projects have demonstrated that Nature-based Solutions (NBS) can contribute to climate change adaptation, but now the challenge is to scale up their use. Setting realistic policy goals requires knowing the amount of different NBS types that can fit in the urban space and the benefits that can be expected. This research aims to assess...
Article
Full-text available
Spatio-temporal density trends are considered key indicators of urban development. However, similar density trends may hide different drivers. This study investigates the density trends of 331 European cities between 2006 and 2018 and the underlying trends in residential area and population, broken down into natural change and net migration. The an...
Conference Paper
In view of the ongoing pandemic crisis the socio-economic and environmental inequalities within cities have increased. Among others, the presence of high-quality green spaces and elements has become a more pressing need, exacerbating existing inequalities. The knowledge of urban ecosystem conditions can support different types of policy questions w...
Article
Full-text available
Nature-based solutions (NBS) represent the most recent of several "greening" concepts proposed to support spatial planning and decision-making towards sustainable metropolitan regions. Despite similarities, the concepts stem from different disciplines and policy arenas and reflect various models of people-nature relations. This paper aims to analyz...
Chapter
Nature-based solutions (NbS) in cities are actions that utilize ecosystem processes of green-blue infrastructure to safeguard or enhance the delivery of ecosystem services and contribute to address urban challenges. The identification of spatial opportunities for NbS can support the development of concrete options of NbS planning and implementation...
Chapter
While many projects have demonstrated the potential of single Nature-based Solutions (NbS) to contribute to urban climate change adaptation, the challenge now lies in moving from demonstration projects to a full-scale deployment. The aim of this research is to assess the potential for a full-scale implementation of NbS in Malmö (Sweden), and the ex...
Chapter
The aim of this chapter is to present and test a performance-based planning approach based on the information produced by ecosystem services (ES) mapping and assessment at the urban scale. The city of Trento in Italy is used as a case study. The planning approach allows to estimate the impacts of proposed urban transformations and to define for the...
Article
Full-text available
The integration of ecosystem service (ES) knowledge into decision-making processes is increasingly endorsed by various policies and initiatives, with spatial planning targeted as one of the most relevant fields. Learning and feeding back from existing experiences is therefore a fundamental step to ensure appropriate and useful support by ES science...
Article
Full-text available
To ensure that cities and urban ecosystems support human wellbeing and overall quality of life we need conceptual frameworks that can connect different scientific disciplines as well as research and practice. In this perspective, we explore the potential of a traits framework for understanding social-ecological patterns, dynamics, interactions, and...
Chapter
This chapter presents the mapping of ecosystem service hotspots in the city of Trento, in the Italian Alps, and discusses the possible uses of the results to support the drawing of the new Urban Plan. Hotspots are defined as areas characterized by high levels of provision of multiple services. Particularly, the following ecosystem services were sel...
Chapter
In Padova, the municipal department of green infrastructure monitors the urban forest through a continuously updated database that stores information about locations, species, dimensions, health conditions, and management of more than 47,000 trees. The aim of the research presented in this chapter was to support urban forest planning and management...
Article
Full-text available
Remote sensing has evolved to become a key tool for various fields of environmental analysis, thus actively informing policy across areas and domains. To evaluate the degree to which remote sensing is contributing to the science of ecologically-oriented urban planning, we carried out a systematic literature review using the SCOPUS database, searchi...
Article
Full-text available
This paper analyses and compares a set of case studies on ecosystem services (ES) mapping and assessment with the purpose of formulating lessons learned and recommendations. Fourteen case studies were selected during the EU Horizon 2020 “Coordination and Support Action” ESMERALDA to represent different policy- and decision-making processes througho...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter analyzes to what extent ecosystem services are currently included in urban plans. The objective is to understand what ecosystem service information is already used, and what is still needed to improve planning decisions. We developed a methodology to review the content of planning documents irrespective of the terminology adopted to re...
Chapter
Full-text available
What are the most common EbA measures found in urban climate adaptation plans? To what climate change impact do they aim to respond?
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter presents an application of ecosystem service assessments to support urban planning decisions. The case study concerns the regeneration of brownfields in the city of Trento (Italy). Potential re-greening interventions are prioritized according to their expected consequences on two illustrative, though relevant ecosystem services for the...
Chapter
Full-text available
Ecosystem services analysis has a great potential to support the inclusion of equity considerations in planning practice. This chapter discusses criteria for addressing equity in urban planning through ecosystem service assessments, by exploring issues associated to: (i) the supply of ecosystem services and its spatial distribution, (ii) the access...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter presents an approach for estimating the cooling capacity provided by urban green infrastructures tailored to support urban planning. The method is based on the review of the literature to identify the functions of green infrastructures that are involved in providing cooling, and the components that determine those functions. The inform...
Poster
Full-text available
There are many Ecosystem Services (ES) that bring well-being for people. Climate regulation, air pollution retention and recreation are some of the most important, which can be provided by a well-planned multifunctional landscape. We aimed to investigate the current status of ES provisioning, the synergies and trade-offs between them and the impli...
Book
Full-text available
This open access book presents current knowledge about ecosystem services (ES) in urban planning, and discusses various urban ES topics such as spatial distribution of urban ecosystems, population distribution, and physical infrastructure properties. The book addresses all these issues by: i) investigating to what extent ecosystem services are curr...
Article
Full-text available
Urban planning is the most relevant decision-making process affecting urban regulating ecosystem services. However, a clear understanding of the effects of planning decisions on both the supply and demand of urban regulating ecosystem services is still lacking. To support planners in enhancing urban regulating ecosystem services, there is a need to...
Article
Urban spatial development is a crucial issue for spatial planning and urban governance, ultimately determining cities’ sustainability. While a set of spatial strategies to address urban development are progressively gaining international consensus, their actual applicability is still contested. An interesting test-bed is represented by the European...
Article
Full-text available
Nature-based recreation is among the most relevant ecosystem services supplied by urban green infrastructure, affecting citizens’ physical and mental wellbeing. Providing adequate green spaces for nature-based recreation is among the main goals of urban planning, but commonly-used indicators offer a partial view on the issue. Innovative methods and...
Article
Full-text available
A key task in the ESMERALDA project dealt with identifying appropriate case studies to test the 'flexible methodology' in its different stages of development. Case studies consist of working examples in which mapping and assessment of ecosystem services were applied to address specific decision-making problems. Testing is understood as an iterative...
Article
Full-text available
This study explores the use of ecosystem service (ES) knowledge to support urban planning in the assessment of future scenarios. The case study concerns the prioritszation of brownfield regeneration interventions in the city of Trento (Italy). Alternative planning scenarios considering the conversion of existing brownfields into new urban parks are...
Article
In cities, land-use decisions made during planning processes determine the availability of ecosystem services fundamental to the wellbeing of urban population. Hence, the inclusion of ecosystem services in planning is essential to promote sustainable urban development. This article investigates to what extent ecosystem services are currently includ...
Article
Abstract As urban systems continue to grow worldwide, urban peripheries increase in number and typologies, which makes their planning a challenge for sustainable development. The aim of this article is to explore approaches and challenges related to the application of sustainable planning to urban peripheries. We reviewed the content of 102 papers...
Chapter
This paper deals with the planning issues arising from the development of 4th generation district heating and cooling systems, also known as low temperature district heating. This emerging technology has already demonstrated its efficiency and cost-effectiveness and shows the potential to sustain the energy transition of the urban thermal sector to...
Chapter
Full-text available
Climate change is expected to be an increasingly important source of impacts on biodiversity, both directly and in combination with other activities and phenomena, such as land use change, habitat fragmentation, and biological disruption. The complexity of Biodiversity Impact Assessment under climate change is increased by the fact that the effects...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The mapping and assessment of ecosystems and their services in EU - MAES - is an initiative of the European Commission, which aims to improve the knowledge and evidence base for biodiversity policy as defined under Target 2 Action 5 of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020. The fourth MAES report provides guidance for mapping and assessing urban eco...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (8)
Project
This research aims at addressing the following questions: - What are the most suitable indicators to assess and quantify urban ecosystem conditions? - To what extent the indicators proposed to assess the conditions of other ecosystem types can be applied also to urban ecosystems? - How can condition indicators be connected to the capacity of urban ecosystems to provide ecosystem services?
Project
To understand and facilitate the interplay of processes, actors, and tools across planning tiers to support Swedish spatial planning in integrating Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) and Green Infrastructure (GI) to achieve human wellbeing while conserving life-supporting ecosystems in urban regions. Fundamental components of the sustainability transition, NBS and GI are yet to be effectively integrated in real-life planning in Sweden. This requires good coordination across planning levels, smart use of digital NBS-GI tools, and processes of knowledge co-creation and co-production. The overall aim of the REPLAN project is to coproduce new and essential knowledge of how local and regional planning practices can contribute to the protection of urban green areas and their ecosystem services by exploring new trajectories for spatial planning processes. We analyze related digital tools and test them in spatial scenarios addressing urgent challenges formulated by stakeholders. We organize Capacity Tracks for integration of NBS-GI in planning as well as of digital NBS-GI tools, laying the foundation for a Capacity Platform for co-learning and co-creation of solutions. Thus, REPLAN will create credible and salient solutions to how local and regional planning processes can be organized and designed to effectively make use of NBS and GI to shape thriving residential and public environments and to combat biodiversity challenges by ensuring sustainable land and water use.
Project
Peri-urbanization processes involving urban expansion through land take and soil sealing are massive, often taking place beyond any regulations, threatening the performance of ecosystems and the provision of ecosystem services. These processes lead to the emerging of peri-urban landscapes (PULs), transition territories connecting cities with their surrounding environment, where urban, rural and natural or semi-natural characteristics are mixed. The governance of PULs faces multiple challenges: vertically and horizontally fragmented governance and planning, increasing pressure of market forces, speed of peri-urbanization processes, and lack of awareness about their potential consequences, among others. At the same time, it needs to address urban, regional and (cross-) national development goals such as air pollution reduction, integrated watershed management, infrastructure planning and management, biodiversity conservation, provision of and accessibility to ecosystem services. Fostering sustainable development requires to overcome the numerous conflicts that characterize PULs and to approach them as interfaces where opportunities for governance experimentation and new governance mixes can emerge. Such new governance mixes do not refer to a particular type of governance or a simple combination of policy instruments but indicate a thoughtful mix of different, top-down and bottom-up governance approaches, introduced at different administrative levels, discussed and implemented by a wide range of governance actors, and bringing different formal and informal outcomes. We hypothesise that a holistic landscape ecology approach can offer a transdisciplinary platform to develop innovative governance mixes towards sustainable PULs. However, several limitations and barriers are likely to emerge in such complex landscapes. To explore those barriers and the opportunities emerging in PULs, we encourage researchers and practitioners to present case studies, exemplary applications, theoretical frameworks and perspectives, as well as proposals of innovative governance processes, policy instruments, decision-support tools and methodologies, which contribute to addressing the following questions: _What kind of governance mixes could increase the sustainability of existing and future PULs, and how? _What is/can be the role of landscape ecology and landscape approaches when developing innovative governance mixes towards sustainable PULs? _What are the good practices related to the successful implementation of governance mixes in PULs? _What are the challenges and barriers for implementing governance mixes towards sustainable development in PULs?