Decision-making framework to support green-blue infrastructure multifunctionality

Natural areas are able to perform several functions and provide multiple benefits for human well-being. In view of growing pressures on the natural balance due to the increasing use of natural resources and the impacts of climate change, there is an urgent need for instruments and tools that help to better consider ecological services in decision-making processes.

This thesis addresses the operationalisation of the two complementary concepts of green-blue infrastructure (GBI) and nature-based solutions (NbS). Vegetation structures along railways and watercourses were addressed as GBI, for which there is a high demand for ecosystem services (ES) and which are subject to special technical requirements. The periodical survey of vegetation data by means of remote sensing technologies and subsequent data analysis guaranteed the quantification of ES on the one hand and the identification of risk areas on the other.

This work provides methodological approaches, for the installation of NbS and for the periodic monitoring and evaluation of the multifunctionality of GBI. This is a fundamental requirement, as these systems develop dynamically and, thus, their functionality also changes over time.

to the doctoral thesis (pdf)