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Ecosystem Services Modelling


Number of urban ecosystem services studies in Southeast Asia and percentage of urban population in each country. Source: Lourdes et al. (2021)


Project 1: Ecosystem Services modelling in KL 


Like many Southeast Asian cities, Kuala Lumpur is experiencing rapid growth that threatens surrounding natural ecosystems, reducing their benefits to urban populations. Led by the University of Nottingham Malaysia, this study examines the multiple urban ecosystem services provided by natural infrastructure in Kuala Lumpur and how these might change under future development. A case study focuses on the Upper Langat, a rapidly urbanising catchment located in the southeast of Kuala Lumpur, that has seen problematic trends in water discharge and sediment loads due to unmanaged development. More information.

Project leads: Karen Lourdes (University of Nottingham Malaysia)

Alex Lechner, Chris N. Gibbins, Ruzana Sanusi, Badrul Azhar

Publications (forthcoming/published)

Ecosystem services maps for the Langat catchment, in the southeast of Kuala Lumpur

Project 2: Urban heat island in Southeast Asian cities


Southeast Asian cities face large heat stress related to climate change and urban heat islands, the increase in urban temperature due to urban growth and densification. The goal of this project is to test spatially explicit models, including InVEST, to model air temperatures in Singapore and throughout Southeast Asia. This helps understand where greening strategies may mitigate urban heat and inform urban planning decisions in the region.

Project leads: Min Wei Chai and Perrine Hamel

Project 3: Carbon assessments


Many regions in Southeast Asia (SEA) have been rapidly urbanizing over the past 30 years. The continuous and rapid urban growth changes the urban ecological landscape which and in turn threatens the existing services we derive from ecosystems. Understanding this can help cities implement solutions (e.g., nature based solutions) for enhancing urban resilience and sustainability. In this study, we perform a fine-scale “urban cluster” level assessment for SEA of current (2015) and future (2050) IPCC – SSP scenarios for carbon storage and sequestration potential. Carbon sequestration potential is also compared to urban cluster level CO2 emissions for mitigation potential assessment under future land use land cover scenarios.

Project leads:

Shankar Acharya Kamarajugedda (Research Fellow)
Asst. Prof. Perrine Hamel (Principal Investigator)


Asst. Prof. Justin Andrew Johnson (University of Minnesota)

Publications (forthcoming/published)

  • Carbon sequestration services for Southeast Asian urban clusters under future land cover change scenarios (2015 – 2050) – manuscript to be submitted


LULC transition between 2015 and 2050 scenarios for SEA urban clusters – land cover based comparison

Density plot representing SEA urban cluster carbon values [change between 2015 - 2050] normalized with respective to the urban cluster’s area (Tons/sq.km) for all the 6 SSP RCP scenarios