Exploring the link between supply and demand of cultural ecosystem services – towards an integrated vulnerability assessment
Vulnerability studies need to consider changes in the ecological and the social system as well as their interactions. Yet, the link between ecosystem services and the wellbeing of different social groups represents a deficit in research. The presented case study attempts to create a deepened understanding of the social–ecological system as a basis for vulnerability assessment. For this purpose, participatory mapping of cultural ecosystem services (CES) and perceived vulnerability in the urban region of Rostock (Germany) were conducted. A comprehensive approach was developed including the spatial distribution of CES in the urban region, the interrelations between the supply and demand of CES (considering different social factors and the spatial link), as well as an exemplary vulnerability assessment. The case study showed that an application of the participatory mapping approach is valuable in a wide urban region. The evaluation of the link between population wellbeing and CES suggested no differences according to social factors. Concerning the spatial link, different critical distances for individual CES were found. An integrated map of supply and demand was developed showing the supply of districts with CES area, number, and diversity. The final exemplary vulnerability assessment visualized potential changes in CES supply areas and affected districts in the urban region.