Managed landscapes, such as residential lawns, golf courses, and parks, are deeply interconnected to a range of urban and suburban environmental, social, and economic issues. These links partly stem from landscapes’ provision of ecosystem services including stormwater retention, climate moderation, and improved air quality, which in turn affect populous communities’ health and well-being. These landscapes are often privately owned and intensively managed; in fact, landscape management is a $40 billion industry in the United States (Ghali et al. 2010). However, conventional landscaping business practices and sustainability initiatives rarely consider the full range of ecosystem services potentially derived from managed landscapes. As a result, much of the environmental, social, and economic value of these landscapes remains untapped and unmanaged.
New tools and methods for measuring and economically valuing ecosystem services are emerging.
(September 2013) by Susanne Oxment, Doug MacNair, Steve Bartell, Barbara Wyse, Rush Childs and Sabina Shaikh, Cardno Entrix for World Research Institute.