Although a number of comprehensive reviews have examined global ecosystem services (ES), few have focused on studies that assess urban ecosystem services (UES). Given that more than half of the world’s population lives in cities, understanding the dualism of the provision of and need for UES is of critical importance. Which UES are the focus of research, and what types of urban land use are examined? Are models or decision support systems used to assess the provision of UES? Are trade-offs considered? Do studies of UES engage stakeholders? To address these questions, we analyzed 217 papers derived from an ISI Web of Knowledge search using a set of standardized criteria. The results indicate that most UES studies have been undertaken in Europe, North America, and China, at city scale. Assessment methods involve bio-physical models, Geographical Information Systems, and valuation, but few study findings have been implemented as land use policy.

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