Multifunctionality of a peri-urban landscape: exploring the diversity of residents’ perceptions and preferences

Anna Filyushkina, Franziska Komossa, Marc J. Metzger, Peter H. Verburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Developing successful policies for sustainable land use requires understanding the perspectives of different actors. This study explored how residents – an often under-represented and un-organized group – vary in their valuation of ecosystem services (ES) and perception of multifunctionality in a peri-urban setting. We conducted 127 interviews in the Kromme Rijn region of the Netherlands guided by an interactive, visual canvas tool (STREAMLINE). We addressed four research questions: (1) Is there variation among residents regarding preferences for ES? (2) Which competing interests do residents see in this landscape? (3) Where are hotspots of perceived multifunctionality? and (4) Can the level of perceived multifunctionality be explained by its location on the rural–urban gradient? Our findings demonstrate that while the majority of ES are important to residents of a peri-urban landscape, there is variation in relative preference towards a subset of ES (mainly provisioning services). A typology of preferences distinguishes three groups: (A)‘I want it all’ – all ES (very) important; (B)‘I want most of it’ – majority of ES important; and (C)‘I want some’ – several ES not important at all. The majority of competing interests identified by respondents were between biodiversity and either a provisioning or cultural service. Universal hotspots of perceived multi-functionality overlapped with the area around residential areas, whereas natural (grassland) areas and water were considered multifunctional by only a small share of respondents. These perceptions and preferences do not necessarily align with current policy and management efforts, it is advised that residents’ perceptions and values are better accounted for in landscape governance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-597
JournalEcosystems and People
Issue number1
Early online date18 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'Multifunctionality of a peri-urban landscape: exploring the diversity of residents’ perceptions and preferences'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this