Promoting partnership between urban design and urban ecology through social-ecological resilience building

A closer partnership between urban design and urban ecology can yield new knowledge with the predictive advancement of both fields. However, achieving such partnership is not always a straight-forward process due to different epistemological departures. This chapter provides a rudimentary background of the fields of urban design and urban ecology and familiarizes readers with some epistemological characteristics that are useful to consider in all forms…

Urbanisation in and for the Anthropocene

Key insights on needs in urban regional governance – Global urbanization (the increasing concentration in urban settlements of the increasing world population), is a driver and accelerator of shifts in diversity, new cross-scale interactions, decoupling from ecological processes, increasing risk and exposure to shocks. Responding to the challenges of urbanization demands fresh commitments to a city–regional perspective in ways that are explictly embedded in the…

Supporting Bottom-Up Human Agency for Adapting to Climate Change

The metric focus of sustainability thinking is at risk of downplaying the role of climate-change adaptation as a strategy complementary to climate-change mitigation. The upcoming 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP26) needs to explore how adaptation based on human agency could contribute to dealing with climate change.

Countryside within the City: A Motivating Vision behind Civic Green Area Stewardship in Warsaw, Poland

In the midst of the epoch of the Urban Anthropocene, citizen engagement is an important step on the path of creating local and global sustainability. However, the factors that motivate civic urban dwellers to become voluntary stewards of nature environments inside cities need research. This is an empirical study based on deep interviews and a grounded theory approach focused on the “inner world” of people…

Enabling Relationships with Nature in Cities

Limited exposure to direct nature experiences is a worrying sign of urbanization, particularly for children. Experiencing nature during childhood shapes aspects of a personal relationship with nature, crucial for sustainable decision-making processes in adulthood. Scholars often stress the need to ‘reconnect’ urban dwellers with nature; however, few elaborate on how this can be achieved. Here, we argue that nature reconnection requires urban ecosystems, with a…

The Incremental Demise of Urban Green Spaces

More precise explanations are needed to better understand why public green spaces are diminishing in cities, leading to the loss of ecosystem services that humans receive from natural systems. This paper is devoted to the incremental change of green spaces—a fate that is largely undetectable by urban residents. The paper elucidates a set of drivers resulting in the subtle loss of urban green spaces and…

Applying a Systems Perspective on the Notion of the Smart City

This paper focuses on the need for a widened definition of the notion of technology within the smart city discourse, with a particular focus on the “built environment”. The first part of the paper describes how current tendencies in urban design and architecture are inclined to prioritize high tech-solutions at the expense of low-tech functionalities and omits that information and communication technology (ICT) contrasts the…

Wicked Problems of Smart Cities

It is often uncritically assumed that, when digital technologies are integrated into the operation of city functions, they inevitably contribute to sustainable urban development. Such anotion rests largely on the belief that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) solutions pave the way for more democratic forms of planning, and that ‘smart’ technological devices resultin a range of environmental benefits, e.g., energy efficiency and the mitigation of…

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