Conservation of ecosystem services in residential developments
Collantes, Hugo Guillermo
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Conservation Subdivisions attempt to preserve green space threatened by urban sprawl. However, many ordinances are not based on quantitative guidelines for protection of ecosystem services. I evaluated ten Conservation Subdivisions in Cherokee County, GA, analyzing design features to protect two ecosystem services: water quality and wildlife biodiversity. I found various conservation opportunities that the current ordinance forfeits. Therefore, I suggested a scoring system to evaluate Conservation Subdivisions, offering flexibility to developers and planners in making design and approval decisions. I also evaluated the only Conservation Subdivision in Peru, located in Cusco. I found that the Peruvian ordinance advanced ecosystem services conservation through management of a dynamic green space. In contrast, the U.S. ordinance seemed to promote the preservation of a static green space. I concluded that both ordinances should include design and management requirements, and economic incentives to developers and residents, in order to sustain the conservation of ecosystem services.