We review the current state of knowledge about urban ecosystem services in New York City (NYC) and how these services are regulated, planned for, and managed. Focusing on ecosystem services that have presented challenges in NYC—including stormwater quality enhancement and flood control, drinking water quality, food provisioning and recreation—we find that mismatches between the scale of production and scale of management occur where service provision is insufficient. Adequate production of locally produced services and services which are more accessible when produced locally is challenging in the context of dense urban development that is characteristic of NYC. Management approaches are needed to address scale mismatches in the production and consumption of ecosystem services. By coordinating along multiple scales of management and promoting best management practices, urban leaders have an opportunity to ensure that nature and ecosystem processes are protected in cities to support the delivery of fundamental urban ecosystem services.
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