The relevance of Oslo's green-blue infrastructure for local perceptions of low carbon development and 'green city' branding

Project facts

Project promoter
University of Girona
Project Number:
Target groups
Researchers or scientists
Initial project cost:
Final project cost:
From EEA Grants:
€ 6,691
The project is carried out in:


The present project aims to assess the value of Oslo's urban and peri-urban green spaces in comparison with alternative urban development as a means to benchmark the ecosystem services-based spatial planning delivered by the Green Plan Oslo. The project is expected to map the value of ecosystem services of urban and peri-urban green spaces in Oslo and generate new information about local perception and preferences for ecosystem services from blue-green infrastructure. The donor partner, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, is immersed in a European project (Openness Project) on the assessment of ecosystems in the Municipality of Oslo. The donor partner, University of Girona, will replicate an improved yet comparable version of the original methodology to assess the performance of low carbon urban sustainability sectors developed in 6 other cities as part of a PhD fieldwork research. Oslo municipality will be a beneficiary of the cooperation in terms of available data on the perception of the cultural ecosystem services of the community and the opportunity to use them for conservation planning purposes.

Summary of project results

Nina-Oslo is a partner in the EU Project Openness, about operationalization of ecosystem services. Within the Oslo case study NINA is assessing and valuating the ecosystem services the city’s green and blue infrastructure. The beneficiary’s contribution referred to the valuation of ecosystem services of trees in Oslo’s built-up zone, as one of the specific natural elements included in the European research project. Scientific activity consisted in collecting, organizing, processing and analyzing through geographical information systems and Bayesian networks software, data about tees in Olso and their ecosystem services. The research departed from a laser dataset produced by city government authority, in which more than 800 000 tree points had been added, with detail of location, height and crown diameter. The first task was to refine this dataset as inaccuracy was significant, according to the Municipality technical experts, due to different double-counting issues. Once the refined dataset was obtained, next step was to determine environmental ecosystem services and disservices of trees. Through bibliography and discussion with NINA and Municipality experts, a set of location and tree-characteristics dependent assumptions were established, in order to estimate necessity and potential delivery of each ecosystem service by every tree point in the register. Cartographic treatment of a variety of geographic information layers took place. For a total of 7 tree ecosystem services and 2 disservices, preparatory treatment cartography was reached. However, generation of deliverable maps and model simulations was restricted to and integrated assessment of “Runoff mitigation and Landslide prevention” in order to reach full analysis of at least one topic, given the limitation s of the research internship. Nonetheless, Bayesian model design was completed for all ecosystem services and disservices of trees, in order to append tree ecosystem services assessment into the VAT 03 model, applied in the Oslo Openness case study for tree monetary valuation.

Summary of bilateral results

The partnership was essential for the project outcome and outputs. It covered Openness project Oslo case study necessities, in terms of data gathering, refining and preparation, fort the remaining project tasks planned for 2015. It also boosted project work package planning and design, as a methodological approach and derived tools have been delivered, testing progress and error for one section (runoff mitigation and landslide prevention) before the full work package (environmental ecosystem services of trees) is tackled; hence, paving the way for the latter based on prior experience, knowledge and review. Particularly, the partnership allowed the integration of GIS and Bayesian Network tools, through the combined skills of researchers from both institutions. The Institute of the Environment of University of Girona and NINA agreed to promote the joint organization of an international scientific workshop and a summer school on ecosystem services valuation for autumn 2015, also funded by NILS programme within a different call for proposals. As a result a book has been published. Beneficiaries of the project are mainly three: First, Norwegian public authorities, as deliverables form the research are very practical for raising awareness of the significant role of trees in urban sustainability and quality of life. Through cartography and economic valuation the Administration will have better tools to communicate what trees supply to society, with localized quantitative gradients and aggregated monetary flow figures. Furthermore, with the tool being developed, the city will be able to determine the monetary opportunity value of each tree falling under cutting-down plans, This decision-making support tool will be available to the Norwegian cities through the Environment Ministry. Second, the international scientific community and all actors participating in Openness project. Last but not least, the visiting researcher and researchers and NINA are strong beneficiaries, thangs to the knowledge exchange opportunity generated by NILS programme.