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Applied Urban Ecology: A Global Framework



Applied Urban Ecology: A Global Framework

Matthias Richter (Editor), Ulrike Weiland (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-444-34500-1 September 2011 Wiley-Blackwell 300 Pages

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Applied Urban Ecology: A Global Framework explores ways in which the environmental quality of urban areas can be improved starting with existing environmental conditions and their dynamics. Written by an internationally renowned selection of scientists and practitioners, the book covers a broad range of established and novel approaches to applied urban ecology.  

Approaches chosen for the book are placed in the context of issues such as climate change, green- and open-space development, flood-risk assessment, threats to urban biodiversity, and increasing environmental pollution (especially in the “megacities” of newly industrialized countries). All topics covered were chosen because they are socially and socio-politically relevant today.

Further topics covered include sustainable energy and budget management, urban water resource management, urban land management, and urban landscape planning and design.

Throughout the book, concepts and methods are illustrated using case studies from around the world. A closing synopsis draws conclusions on how the findings of urban ecological research can be used in strategic urban management in the future.

Applied Urban Ecology: A Global Framework is an advanced textbook for students, researchers and experienced practitioners in urban ecology and urban environmental research, planning, and practice.

List of contributors xi

Foreword xiii


1. Urban ecology – brief history and present challenges 3
Ulrike Weiland andMatthias Richter

1.1 Introduction 3

1.2 Brief history 3

1.2.1 Initials in urban natural history 3

1.2.2 Socioecological tradition 4

1.2.3 Complex bioecological tradition 4

1.2.4 Ecosystem-related tradition 4

1.3 Recent and present challenges 5

1.4 Purpose and structure of the book 7

1.4.1 Purpose of the book 7

1.4.2 Structure of the book 8

References 9


2. Thematic–methodical approaches to applied urban ecology 15
Matthias Richter and UlrikeWeiland

3. Monitoring urban land use changes with remote sensing techniques 18
Ellen Banzhaf andMaik Netzband

3.1 Land use changes and their consequences for urban ecology 18

3.2 Urban remote sensing (URS) and geographical information systems (GIS) for research in urban ecology 19

3.3 Measuring physical characteristics of urban areas with remote sensing technology 21

3.3.1 Effects of urban form on natural and man-made hazards 21

3.3.2 Urban dynamics and ecosystem function 23

3.4 Global initiatives to measure urban expansion and land use change 24

3.4.1 Global Urban Observatory of UN-HABITAT 24

3.4.2 "The Dynamics of Global Urban Expansion" – a contribution by theWorld Bank 24

3.4.3 Socioeconomic data and applications Center (SEDAC) at the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), Columbia University, New York, USA 25

3.4.4 The "100 Cities Project", Arizona State University, USA 26

3.5 Regional urban monitoring activities 26

3.5.1 Europe: ESPON, MOLAND and the Urban Atlas 26

3.5.2 Governmental research projects on urban growth in the United States 29

3.6 Synthesis and outlook 29

References 30



4. Quantifying spatiotemporal patterns and ecological effects of urbanization: a multiscale landscape approach 35
Jianguo Wu, Alexander Buyantuyev, G. Darrel Jenerette, Jennifer Litteral, Kaesha Neil and Weijun Shen

4.1 Introduction 35

4.2 Characterizing the spatiotemporal pattern of urbanization 36

4.2.1 Quantifying urbanization patterns with landscape metrics 36

4.2.2 Other methods for quantifying urban landscape pattern 39

4.2.3 Effects of scale on the analysis of urban landscape patterns 39

4.2.4 Examples from CAP-LTER 40

4.3 Simulating spatiotemporal dynamics of urbanization 41

4.3.1 Importance of simulation models in urban studies 41

4.3.2 Approaches to simulating urban dynamics 41

4.3.3 Examples from CAP-LTER 42

4.4 Effects of urbanization on biodiversity and ecosystem processes: examples from CAP-LTER 43

4.4.1 Effects of urbanization on biodiversity 43

4.4.2 Effects of urbanization on soil biogeochemical patterns 44

4.4.3 Effects of urbanization on net primary production 45

4.4.4 Effects of urbanization on vegetation phenology 45

4.4.5 Urban heat islands and ecological effects 46

4.4.6 Ecosystem responses to urbanization-induced environmental changes 46

4.5 Concluding remarks 47

Acknowledgments 49

References 49

5. Designing urban systems: ecological strategies with stocks and flows of energy and material 54
Peter Baccini

5.1 The challenge of a new urbanity 54

5.2 Urban systems and their resource management 56

5.2.1 Methodology applied investigating resource management of complex systems 56

5.2.2 Relevant differences between agrarian and urban systems on a regional scale 56

5.2.3 The resource management perspectives on a global scale 58

5.2.4 The essential mass resources in the development of urban regions 59

5.3 Strategies of reconstruction 60

5.3.1 The 2000 watt society 60

5.3.2 Transformation of urban regions in a "time of safe practice" 61

5.3.3 The exploration of urban stocks 61

5.4 Developing strategies for the design of urban systems 63

References 65


6. Environmental and ecological threats in Indian mega-cities 66
Surinder Aggarwal and Carsten Butsch

6.1 Urbanization dynamics and emergence of mega-cities 66

6.2 Environmental threats 68

6.2.1 Environmental threats from waste water and sewerage disposal 68

6.2.2 Deteriorating air quality 69

6.2.3 Urban wastemismanagement and environmental degradation 71

6.2.4 Ecosystem damages and ecological footprints 72

6.2.5 Threats from natural hazards, disasters, and climate change 73

6.3 Mega-social challenges 74

6.3.1 Poverty and fragmentation 75

6.3.2 Rising vulnerabilities and insecurities 76

6.3.3 Inequities and inequalities in urban services 77

6.4 Concluding remarks 78

Acknowledgments 80

References 80

7. From wasteland to wilderness – aspects of a new form of urban nature 82
Dieter Rink and Harriet Herbst

7.1 Introduction 82

7.2 Urban wilderness – some attempts at defining the term 83

7.3 Wastelands as a source of urban wilderness 83

7.4 Urban wilderness in planning 85

7.5 On the ecology of urban wilderness 86

7.6 Urban wilderness in a social context 87

7.7 Educational value of urban wilderness 89

7.8 Conclusions 90

References 91


8. Multiscale flood risk assessment in urban areas – a geoinformatics approach 93
Norman Kerle and Dinand Alkema

8.1 Introduction 93

8.2 Flood risk in the context of urban ecology 94

8.3 Comprehensive flood risk assessment – Naga City, the Philippines 96

8.3.1 Floods in Naga 96

8.3.2 Naga's flood management practices 97

8.3.3 Model-based flood scenario studies 97

8.3.4 Linking flood modeling with disaster management 98

8.3.5 Naga as example for other flood-prone cities 99

8.4 The role of remote sensing in flood risk assessment and management 99

8.4.1 Quasistatic hazard data 100

8.4.2 Dynamic hazard data 101

8.4.3 Mapping elements at risk 102

8.5 Disaster risk in the context of urban ecology – an outlook 104

References 104

9. Urban open spaces and adaptation to climate change 106
Marialena Nikolopoulou

9.1 Cities, climate change and the role of open spaces 106

9.2 Outdoor comfort 107

9.3 Use of space 108

9.3.1 Seasonal profile 108

9.3.2 Diurnal profile 108

9.4 Thermal perception 111

9.5 Adaptation 113

9.5.1 Physical adaptation 113

9.5.2 Psychological adaptation, 113

9.6 Design interventions 116

9.6.1 Materials 117

9.6.2 Vegetation 118

9.6.3 Shading 118

9.6.4 Water 119

9.6.5 Other measures 119

9.7 Conclusions 120

References 121


10. Social aspects of urban ecology in developing countries, with an emphasis on urban domestic gardens 123
Sarel Cilliers, Stefan Siebert, Elandrie Davoren and Rina Lubbe

10.1 Introduction 123

10.2 Social benefits and human perceptions of urban green areas 124

10.3 Consequences of socioeconomic aspects on the urban green infrastructure 125

10.4 Urban domestic gardens 126

10.4.1 Literature review 126

10.4.2 Case studies from the North-West Province, South Africa 128

10.5 Conclusions 133

References 135

11. Plant material for urban landscapes in the era of globalization: roots, challenges and innovative solutions 139
Maria Ignatieva

11.1 Introduction 139

11.2 The beginning of plant material globalization 139

11.3 Victorian Gardenesque (1820–1880) 140

11.4 Influence of the Victorian garden on the global planting pattern 142

11.5 Victorian tropical and subtropical paradise 143

11.6 Modern nurseries’ direction: global pool of plants 145

11.7 Innovative solutions: searching for new ecological planting design 148

11.7.1 Europe: United Kingdom 148

11.7.2 Europe: The Netherlands 148

11.7.3 Europe: Germany 148

11.7.4 United States 149

11.7.5 New Zealand: modern approach to planting design 149

11.8 Discussion and conclusion 150

Acknowledgments 150

References 150


12. Ecological infrastructure leads the way: the negative approach and landscape urbanism for smart preservation and smart growth 152
Kongjian Yu

12.1 Introduction 152

12.1.1 Urbanization in China challenges survival 152

12.1.2 The failure of the conventional approach in urban development planning 153

12.1.3 Green infrastructure leads the way: the negative approach and landscape urbanism 154

12.2 The negative approach: methodology 158

12.2.1 Process analysis 158

12.2.2 Defining landscape security patterns 159

12.2.3 Defining ecological infrastructure 159

12.2.4 Defining urban form at the large scale: urban growth alternatives based on regional EI 159

12.2.5 Defining urban form at the intermediate scale: urban open spaces system based on EI 159

12.2.6 Defining urban form at the small scale: site-specific urban development alternatives based on EI 159

12.3 Urban growth based on EI: a case of negative planning for Taizhou City 159

12.3.1 Critical landscape processes 161

12.3.2 Defining landscape security patterns for the targeted processes 162

12.3.3 Defining ecological infrastructure 164

12.3.4 Scenarios of urban growth pattern based on the regional ecological infrastructure 164

12.3.5 Shaping urban form at the intermediate scale 165

12.3.6 Shaping urban land development at the small scale 165

12.4 Conclusion 165

References 166

13. Integrating science and creativity for landscape planning and design of urban areas 170
Antje Stokman and Christina von Haaren

13.1 Introduction 170

13.2 Landscape planning as a legally based contribution to sustainable development in Germany 171

13.2.1 Tasks of landscape planning 171

13.2.2 Methodologies of landscape planning 172

13.3 Landscape design as a creative cultural action 173

13.3.1 Tasks of landscape design 173

13.3.2 Methodologies of landscape design 174

13.4 Linking landscape planning and design: differences, interfaces and potential synergies 175

13.4.1 A matter of timeline and scale: linking multidimensional perspectives on strategic landscape development 175

13.4.2 A matter of perception and meaning: linking environmental goals and cultural concepts 176

13.4.3 A matter of process and learning: linking management and experimentation to achieve adaptive landscape development 178

13.4.4 A matter of involvement and experience: linking information and participation 181

13.5 Conclusion 182

Acknowledgment 183

References 183

14. Landscape as a living system: Shanghai 2010 Expo Houtan Park 186
Kongjian Yu

14.1 Introduction 186

14.2 Objective 186

14.3 Challenges 186

14.3.1 Pollution 186

14.3.2 Flooding 186

14.3.3 Circulation 187

14.3.4 Transformation 187

14.3.5 Identity 187

14.3.6 Form 188

14.4 Design concept and strategy: a living system 188

14.4.1 Ecological landscape 189

14.4.2 Three dimensions of meanings 190

14.4.3 Experience network 191

14.5 Conclusions 192


15. Geographical perspectives on a radical political ecology of water 193
Alex Loftus

15.1 Introduction 193

15.2 The urbanization of nature 194

15.3 Urban political ecologies of water 195

15.4 Privatization questions 196

15.5 Taking the debates forward 199

15.6 Infrastructures of power: democratizing water technologies 199

15.7 The everyday 201

15.8 Conclusions 202

References 202


16. Synthesizing urban ecology research and topics for urban environmental management 207
Matthias Richter and UlrikeWeiland

Index 213

“In return it broadens our perspective on the pathways we might follow in aiming to understand the complexities of urban environments, and ultimately learn how to shape their future and that of the majority of humanity.”  (Austral Ecology, 1 October 2013)

“This book provides a wealth of information . . . It is a book for the specialist rather than the generalist and is thus most relevant for advanced undergraduates and postgraduates of ecology, geography, environmental science and urban planning.”  (Bulletin of the British Ecological Society, 1 June 2012)

"I am sure that anyone teaching in this area at undergraduate or postgraduate levels will want it on their bookshelf." (Elsevier's Biological Conservation, 1 January 2012)

"I highly recommend the very hands on and engaging book Applied Urban Ecology: A Global Framework edited by Matthias Richter and Ulrike Weiland, to any field researchers, scientists, practitioners, urban planners, policy makers in government, business leaders, educators, and students at all levels who are seeking a clear and understandable guide to urban ecology, its challenges, and its potential solutions. This book will transform the way decision makers approach urban ecological issues, and provide students with a firm foundation in applied urban ecology." (Blog Business World, 4 January 2012)

"Nevertheless, each chapter is worth reading and I am sure this book will become a primer for studies in urban ecology. I am sure that anyone teaching in this area at undergraduate or postgraduate levels will want it on their bookshelf." (Biological Conservation, 12 December 2011)