WIT Press

Urban green indicators: a tool to estimate the sustainability of our cities


Free (open access)


Volume 14 (2019), Issue 1



Page Range

19 - 29

Paper DOI



WIT Press


C.M. Tudorie, E. Gielen, M. Vallés-Planells & F. Galiana


In Europe, more than 70% of the population lives in an urban area. All the challenges related to land use conflicts, demographic changes, climate resilience and human well-being are concentrated inside the cities, since the population is already living in urban areas, which are more and more compact and dependent on grey infrastructure. In this context, urban green infrastructure represents a sustainable solution to maintain the benefits and services provided by urban ecosystems and an efficient urban planning tool to face the urban challenges.

The sustainability of our cities can be reached adopting an innovative vision using the concept of ecosystem services of the urban green infrastructure. Different initiatives to assess the benefits provided by green infrastructure have emerged in the last decade. However, very few take into account the whole range of services provided by urban green infrastructure.

The present article provides a systematic search and synthesis of the most important literature to review indicators of urban green infrastructure. The main goal is to give an insight of how urban green infrastructure is measured in practice. Results show the set of ecosystem services that are being considered when assessing sustainability of green infrastructure and identify the most recurrent indicators at the different scales. This work is expected to contribute to the improvement of the evaluation of green infrastructure effectiveness for providing benefits for urban dwellers.


ecosystem services, green space indicators, sustainability, urban challenges, urban green infrastructure.