Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
Strengthening Capacity to Manage Ecosystems Sustainably for Human Well-Being

Stockholm Urban Assessment


This assessment covers the area of the National City Park of Stockholm (NCP) and its 20 km circular surroundings.

Lead institutions

Centre for Research on Natural Resources and the Environment (CNM), University of Stockholm, the Resilience Alliance, the Beijer Institute, and the Stockholm Environment Institute.

Contact information:

  • Dr. Carl Folke
    Director, Center for Research on Natural Resources and Environment (CNM)
    Professor, Department of Systems Ecology
    Stockholm University
    S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
    Tel: 46 8 153665
    Fax: 46 8 6747036

Focal issues

There is a lack of coherent scientific ecological knowledge about processes and trends both in the National City Park and the larger regional area, although scattered field inventories and environmental data exist. The lack of ecological knowledge creates uncertainty about development and planning at the regional and local levels, and mitigates coherent visions that are in congruence with environmental goals and standards. An essential part of this assessment is to synthesize presently existing information, including information and knowledge among users of ecosystem services, and also relate such information and knowledge to theories of landscape ecology and resilience of social-ecological systems.

Ecosystem services being assessed

Biodiversity, ecosystem habitat diversity, seed dispersal, pollination, recreational and health services, cultural and aesthetic values.

Key features of the assessment

Coupled to population increase and urban development, the greater metropolitan region of Stockholm displays a dramatic loss of ecosystems over time. Within this area, green areas that cover several self-governing municipalities have successively become fragmented and isolated, hence the capacity to sustain the region’s ecosystem services are increasingly reduced. At stake are not only biodiversity, but also cultural, aesthetic, and recreational values that promote human health and well-being.

Various non-governmental managers, users and interest groups of green space become partners in the building of adaptive co-management arenas. Several projects within this assessment focus on what social networks and stakeholders exist, and what local ecological knowledge, management practices and informal institutions they hold. Golf course managers, allotment area associations and bee cultivars represent examples of such groups. Other governmentally managed public green spaces, such as nature reserves, city parks and cemeteries will also be assessed and analyzed. Thus, the ecological and social assessments taking place within the study area provide the basis for the initiation of adaptive co-management arenas.

Timeframe, budget

At the end of 2003, there will be a report for MA on main findings and conclusions. Funding is coming from Swedish Research Councils (Formas, Vetenskapsradet), PhD positions and salaries from Stockholm University as well as partnerships with several steward associations (NGOs, land owners, governmental).