Green infrastructure, ecosystem services and their contributions to address climate change in cities: the case of the coastal corridor of the river Mapocho in Santiago de Chile
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The paper discusses the arguments in favor of urban green infrastructure and the provision of ecosystem services as key components of urban-ecological systems resilient to climate change. The analytical framework developed here is then applied to the riparian corridor of the Mapocho River in Santiago, in order to discuss its current and potential contributions to tackling climate change. The discussion is based on the evaluation of three key ecosystem services: (1) cooling effects, (2) routes for non-motorized transport, and (3) flood mitigation. The integration of concepts of green infrastructure, ecosystem services and adaptation/mitigation of climate change, provide an appropriate framework to clarify how urban green spaces can contribute to address global warming and the negative effects of climate change. In Santiago, currently the main contribution of Mapocho River's riparian corridor is to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions by acting as an important route for non-motorized transport, particularly for cycling. Currently its contribution to the reduction of atmospheric temperatures and to flood mitigation is limited. The development of a riparian greenway along the Mapocho River could help improve the provision of the three evaluated ecosystem services and thus constitute an important connector in the green infrastructure system in Santiago to address mitigation and adaptation to climate change.
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