Valuation of urban ecosystem services in Oslo

The Oslo case study aims to translate the concepts of natural capital (NC) and ecosystem services (ES) into operational examples. We conduct integrated assessment and valuation of urban ES, demonstrating how several different approaches can support urban management and decision-making in Oslo. The case study also scrutinizes the potential and limitations of the concepts of ES and NC in an urban and Norwegian context.

Foto CC0 Public Domain



The Oslo OpenNESS case study is a cooperation between the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, a non-profit research foundation, and Vista Analyse AS, a small enterprise. The municipality of Oslo and several of its agencies constitute the project’s advisory board.

Contact: David N. Barton/NINA

Related projects:

OpenNESS project website

URBAN Experimental Ecosystem Accounting



NINA Lillehammer

NINA Trondheim

VISTA Analyse A/S

  • Rasmus Reinvang
  • Henrik Lindhjem


Research Collaborations

MSc. students

  • Claudia Fongar (NTNU)
  • Oscar Haavardsholm (UiO)
  • Nora Vågnes Traaholt (U. København)

Ph.D. students

  • Emma Soy Massoni (U. de Girona, Spania)
  • Sergi Nuss Girona (U. de Girona, Spania)

Visiting researchers

  • Grazia Zulian (JRC)
  • Leena Kopperoinen (SYKE)
  • Pekka Itkonen (SYKE)
  • Arto Viinikka (SYKE)

App development

  • Joerg Preiss (UFZ)
  • Robin Elger


New research

A recent paper in Ecosystem Services compares 27 case studies’ in the OpenNESS project and their local appraisals ecosystem services.   Oslo was one of five urban case studies. The study demonstrates how to involve local stakeholders in evaluating and comparing local impact in a large multi-country study across different ecosystems.

Dick et al. (2018)  Stakeholders’ perspectives on the operationalisation of the ecosystem service concept: Results from 27 case studies. Ecosystem Services.

New research

A recent paper in Ecosystem Services compares 21 valuation methods for 11 types of values used in 27 case studies in the OpenNESS project.  Oslo was one of the case studies testing valuation methods for ecosystem services.  The study finds that no single valuation method is able to capture the full spectrum of values of nature, but there are relatively low cost ways of combining methods locally that can address non-anthopocentric, relational and instrumental values together.

Jacobs et al.(2018) The means determine the end – Pursuing integrated valuation in practice. Ecosystem Services

New research

A recent paper in Ecosystem Services reviews why stakeholders in 27 case studies in the OpenNESS project selected different appraisal and valuation methods. Oslo was one of the case studies testing ecosystem service appraisal methods. The paper proposes a series of decision trees to help local practitioners select methods based on their local context.

Harrison et al. (2018) Selecting methods for ecosystem service assessment: A decision tree approach. Ecosystem Services.

New research

A recent paper in Ecosystem Services examines how ecosystem services appraisal methods where linked in 24 case studies in the OpenNESS project.

The paper demonstrates different types of integration between methods.  Oslo was a particular focus of the study because it combined a range of different physical and monetary appraisal methods: participatory GIS, value transfer, structural diversity mapping of parks, blue-green factor, ESTIMAP modelling of recreation and pollinator potential in urban green landscapes, hedonic pricing, contingent valuation, time use valuation, and city tree compensation values.

Dunford et al. (2018) Integrating methods for ecosystem service assessment: Experiences from real world situations. Ecosystem Services.

New research

A recent paper in Ecosystem Services looks at applications of probabilistic network modeling.  Bayesian belief networks are a new method that allow for better documentation of uncertainty in ecosystem service appraisals.  Oslo is reported in the study with an example of the valuation of city trees, as well as an application from the Morsa catchment to the south of Oslo on the willigness to pay for lake water quality.

Smith et al. (2018) Operationalising ecosystem service assessment in Bayesian Belief Networks: Experiences within the OpenNESS project. Ecosystem Services

New research

A recent paper in Ecosystem Services evaluates the application of the ESTIMAP method for mapping recreation, pollination and air quality mitigation services of green infrastructure.  The study compares EU level coarse mapping of these services with local case studies.  Oslo participated in a comparison of the pollinator potential model.  For Oslo we find that the EU model predicts pollinator potential in the Oslo urban area very poorly compared to a local model.  The study also reports on how useful stakeholders, including Oslo Municipality, found the ESTIMAP models in terms of meeting their decision support needs.

Zulian et al. (2018) Practical application of spatial ecosystem service models to aid decision support. Ecosystem Services


Insight PublishersValuation of urban ecosystem services in Oslo

Blog post by Rasmus Reinvang: Green space in Oslo worth billions!

Aftenposten (daily newspaper)Forskere har regnet på hvor mye Marka er verdt ... (science portal): Naturen i Oslo er verdt milliarder​ 

VISTA: Verdsetting av urbane økosystemtjenester



Naturen i Oslo er verdt milliarder

Naturen i Oslo er verdt milliarder

Norske forskere har satt en prislapp på urban natur for at vi skal forstå hvor uvurderlig den er for oss.   Les mer...

OSLOpenNESS partners and funding

     ""      ""     ""      "" ""     ""