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Analysis of urban ecosystem services in Rio Claro: modeling using InVEST software

Grant number: 20/14620-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2021
Effective date (End): December 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Principal researcher:Milton Cezar Ribeiro
Grantee:Francielli Maria Vieira de Carvalho
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The advent of a massive urbanization process in the mid-twentieth century in Brazil in an unbridled way and without much planning has generated and still causes several problems for the residents of these spaces. There is an emphasis on medium-sized cities, which are home to almost half of the world's urban population. These cities commonly present flooding, air pollution, lack of places for leisure and strong heat waves. These examples are directly linked to the composition and organization of urban spaces. The lack of natural elements such as parks, squares and road afforestation limits the supply of urban ecosystem services (SUAs) in these areas. With the accelerated urbanization, many of these spaces with the potential to shelter green areas have been occupied by buildings and other infrastructure. In addition, even in cases where ITS are present, their distribution may not be equitable. Rio Claro, for example, a medium city located in the state of São Paulo, presents this type of variation with people from the peripheral zone having access to greater thermal comfort, soil permeability and less polluted air, while residents of the central areas have greater green infrastructure for leisure. In this work, we will investigate the spatial distribution of 4 SUAs important for maintaining quality of life in the city. The assessment of synergies and trade-offs between these SUAs can indicate solutions for planning at the municipal scale. The carbon storage and sequestration, flood risk, visitation and urban refrigeration services will be modeled through InVEST (NATURAL CAPITAL PROJECT, 2020) - a widespread modeling platform that has invested in the creation of specific models for the urban environment. This software generates maps that allow the visualization of the spatial distribution of services, generating information for better urban planning that guarantees equal access for residents of different areas of the cities to essential ecosystem services for the well-being of the population. Finally, this study may serve as a reference in the future for research in the area aimed at other medium-sized cities that also face the challenges that touch urban planning.