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IDEFESE: Modeling and mapping ecosystem services for sustainable urban planning decisions in Paris, France

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IDEFESE aims to map ecosystem services to improve urban and regional planning decisions. The case study is the Ile-de-France region, comprising Paris, although the approach is applicable to other French cities and regions. By providing information on temporal and spatial trends in ecosystem services, the project helps stakeholders understand the value of natural ecosystems (parks, forests, agricultural areas) in the region. The project also explored plausible futures through the co-production and analysis of scenarios of urban population growth, agricultural practices, and restoration activities in the region.

Urban planning guidelines increasingly emphasize the central role of nature-based solutions in urban development policies. Yet, the benefits of these solutions, such as greenspace protection or restoration, are still rarely considered in urban planning in France due to a lack of specific knowledge or capacity to act on this knowledge. Yet, the benefits of these solutions, such as ecosystem protection or restoration, or agricultural management practices, are still rarely considered in urban planning.

NatCap was invited to collaborate with the IDEFESE team to build capacity on ecosystem services modeling and mapping in the region. The team had three main goals: i) analyzing the institutional setting underlying urban planning decisions; ii) analyzing of urban ecosystem services (past and future trends); iii) examining inequity by assessing the access of different population groups to ecosystems and their services.

The project used InVEST to model 5 out 8 ecosystem services: groundwater recharge, carbon sequestration and storage, nutrient retention, urban flood risk mitigation, and urban cooling (Mapping the benefits of nature in cities with the InVEST software).

Partners: CIRED (AgroParisTech, Cirad, CNRS, EHESS, Ecole des Ponts ParisTech, Université Paris-Saclay), CNRM (Météo-France, CNRS), ESE (AgroParisTech, CNRS, Université Paris-Saclay, Univ. Paris sud), and the regional biodiversity agency (ARB).