IMECOGIP: Implementation of the Concept of Ecosystem Services in the Planning of Green Infrastructure to Strengthen the Resilience of the Metropolis Ruhr and Shanghai

By linking scientific disciplines with international urban planning expertise, IMECOGIP develops a digital ecosystem services assessment tool in order to foster sustainable and resilient green infrastructure planning in metropolitan areas.

What are the benefits that green spaces such as parks, alleys, forests, meadows and agricultural areas provide for urban residents? Can different biotic components and spatial layouts increase their overall capacity and efficiency and where is room for optimization and improvement? What are the (dis)advantages of different planning options?

The aim of IMECOGIP is to develop an innovative bundle of methods (toolbox) to support green infrastructure planning in densely populated urban areas. IMECOGIP catalyzes the scientific expertise from various disciplines and research areas (urban ecology, landscape architecture, biogeography, geomatics, urban governance and sociology) and systematically targets current methodological deficits of an integrated assessment of individual ecosystem services (ES).

In our pilot study areas of Shanghai and the Ruhr Metropolis, we develop the toolbox in close cooperation with experts from business, academia and administration, thus ensuring the transferability of methods and knowledge-flow according to socio-economic demand as well as local climate and planning culture. The European Environment Agency's 'Common International Classification of Ecosystem Services (CICES)' framework forms the conceptual basis for evaluating ES in the toolbox, which will be released in an open GIS-environment.

For a spatially explicit assessment of individual ES, IMECOGIP relies on detailed geographic data. The toolbox is either compatible with existing digital maps or – where necessary – processed data from high-resolution satellite images (≥ 0.5m). During the four-year project period, the functional scope of the toolbox will gradually increase from initially four (alpha version) to over twenty ES (delta version). The toolbox will also feature a user-friendly manual, which explains the overall methodological framework, illustrates the technical architecture and clarifies data requirements and procedural steps.


Project lead:

Prof. Dr. Harald Zepp
Ruhr-Universität Bochum - Fakultät für Geowissenschaften
Geographisches Institut (Raum IA 6/113)
D-44780 Bochum

Tel.: +49-(0)234 32 23313


Project partner:

Prof. Dr. Stefan Siedentop
ILS - Institut für Landes- und Stadtentwicklungsforschung gGmbH
Brüderweg 22–24
D-44135 Dortmund

Tel.: + 49 (0) 231 9051 234


Further project partners:

Shanghai University

Chinese Academy of Science


Project website IMECOGIP

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