Combining an evaluation grid application to assess ecosystem services of urban green spaces and a socioeconomic spatial analysis

Diogo Guedes Vidal*, Cláudia Oliveira Fernandes, Lilian Monteiro Ferrari Viterbo, Helena Vilaça, Nelson Barros, Rui Leandro Maia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The complex interaction of ecological and social systems has shaped the cities through the time. This fosters the need to develop interdisciplinary approaches to urban issues by combining natural and social sciences. Cities, as the predominant mode of social organization, are vulnerable to social and environmental challenges which urban green spaces (UGS) can contribute to solve by the ecosystem services (ES) that can provide. The objective was to assess the quality of UGS framed by the ES classification and relate with the provision of these services in areas of distinct socioeconomic and environmental deprivation. An evaluation grid was applied in 25 UGS in the city of Porto. Socioeconomic and environmental deprivation index applied by the Porto City Hall in the Municipal Master plan to divide the city into 5 clusters of deprivation was used to select 5 UGS of each cluster. In the most deprived communities, namely in clusters of high and very high socioeconomic and environmental deprivation, the quality of UGS is lower than in the less vulnerable ones. Besides this, it was found that some UGS located in clusters with higher vulnerability have an overall good quality, namely those located in historic and touristic areas of the city. The evaluation grid may be useful to the local authorities to diagnose, monitor and evaluate the ES of UGS and to identify situations of environmental injustice contributing to pursue the implementation of sustainable development goals at a local level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-302
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Inequalities
  • Socioeconomic inequity
  • Sustainable development
  • Urban ecosystem services
  • Urban planning


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