Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2020, Vol. 75 ›› Issue (11): 2417-2430.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202011011

• Ecological Civilization and Sustainable Development • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Support of ecosystem services for spatial planning theories and practices

LI Ruiqian1,2(), LI Yongfu3,4, HU Heng5   

  1. 1. School of International Affairs and Public Administration, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266100, Shandong, China
    2. Institute of Marine Development of Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266100, Shandong, China
    3. Institute of Oceanology, CAS, Qingdao 266071, Shandong, China
    4. Nantong Research and Development Center of Marine Science and Technology, Institute of Oceanology, CAS, Nantong 226019, Jiangsu, China
    5. National Ocean Technology Center, Tianjin 300112, China
  • Received:2019-09-02 Revised:2020-06-10 Online:2020-11-25 Published:2021-01-25
  • Supported by:
    Shandong Social Science Planning Research Program(19DZZJ03);Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities(201913002);Qingdao Social Science Planning Research Program(QDSKL1801007);Ocean University of China Initial Foundation of Scientific Research for Qualified Personnel(861901013121)


Spatial planning system reform is a critical strategy to promote ecosystem civilization construction in China. In view of the new spatial planning system, how to coordinate human activities and protect ecological pattern as well as natural resources are critical to the reformation, which urgently requires multi-disciplinary perspectives and knowledge. Ecosystem services bridge the ecosystem and the human well-being, serving as an important tool for land spatial optimization and decision making to better conform with the ecological civilization. In the light of construction demands from the spatial planning system, this research investigates how ecosystem services may provide relevant support from multiple dimensions through intensive literature and theoretical analyses. Firstly, this paper clarifies ecosystem services' connection with spatial planning in terms of values and goal. Not only are ecosystem services a carrier of spatial planning to shape the value of natural resources, but they are a government choice for spatial planning to promote public welfare as well. Secondly, an in-depth analysis of ecosystem services' support is performed with functions and contents, which vary across planning hierarchy, including the national, provisional, urban, county and village/town levels. To be more specific, insights are gained into ways that ecosystem services may facilitate the strategic and policy-oriented function, the coordinative function, and the operational function, respectively. From a scale-effect perspective, the vertical coordination across planning levels that could be facilitated by ecosystem services is also discussed. Finally, facing the needs of horizontal coordination emphasized by "multiple planning integration", ecosystem services may play important roles in three aspects: fostering common values among different sectors, coordinating multiple stakeholders' interests, and improving spatial planning technology. Results give theoretical supports and possible paths to direct spatial planning reforms, which may help to expand the application of ecosystem services in policy making.

Key words: spatial planning, ecosystem services, values and goal, planning levels, multiple planning integration