China’s rapid urbanization over the past decades has been accompanied by ecological deterioration. This decline in the provision of vital ecosystem services now poses a significant threat to urban area sustainability. Accordingly, the evaluation of ecosystem services has gained greater importance in ecological and sustainable development over the past decade. However, little information about ecosystem services is factored into urban planning and management decisions and limited studies to date have incorporated conservation prioritization when making decisions about urban growth boundaries. In this study, we proposed an initial framework to illustrate its application in Hangzhou. We modeled and mapped five ecosystem services (i.e., habitat quality as a proxy of biodiversity, carbon storage, water yield, sediment retention, nutrient retention) using the InVEST model and evaluated the overlaps among them. Zonation, a systematic conservation planning tool, was applied to explicitly spatialize conservation prioritization, and we proposed an analytical framework to define priority areas for ecosystem services conservation and delineated a rigid urban growth boundary. Our study integrated ecosystem service evaluations into the urban land-use decision-making process and addressed compromises in decisions regarding conservation prioritization.
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