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…

The Role of University Campuses in Reconnecting Humans to the Biosphere

In this paper, we explore the potential for integrating university campuses in a global sustainability agenda for a closer reconnection of urban residents to the biosphere. This calls for a socio-cultural transition that allows universities and colleges to reconnect to the biosphere and become active stewards of the Earth System. Recognizing their pivotal role of fostering coming generations of humans, university campuses represent a unique…

Reconnecting Cities to the Biosphere: Stewardship of Green Infrastructure and Urban Ecosystem Services

Within-city green infrastructure can offer opportunities and new contexts for people to become stewards of ecosystem services. We analyze cities as social–ecological systems, synthesize the literature, and provide examples from more than 15 years of research in the Stockholm urban region, Sweden. The social–ecological approach spans from investigating ecosystem properties to the social frameworks and personal values that drive and shape human interactions with nature….

Reaching for a sustainable, resilient urban future using the lens of ecosystem services

Based on recent research on erosion of ecosystem services, planetary boundaries and predicted pace of urbanization, it is now apparent that humans need to reconnect to the biosphere and that cities in this context, properly managed, could provide great opportunities and arenas for social ecological change and transformation towards sustainability To take advantage of these opportunities one needs to keep in mind that most of…

The Sixth Extinction Crisis Loss of Animal Populations and Species

Today the number of species is the largest in the history of life; however a considerable proportion of that biodiversity is endangered and many species have suffered anthropogenic extinctions. Species and population extinctions are natural phenomena, and massive biodiversity declines have occurred five times in the remote geological past. However, the current extinction episode, the “sixth extinction wave,” may prove to be the most rapid…

Planetary Boundaries: Exploring the safe operating space for humanity

Anthropogenic pressures on the Earth System have reached a scale where abrupt global environmental change can no longer be excluded. We propose a new approach to global sustainability in which we define planetary boundaries within which we expect that humanity can operate safely. Transgressing one or more planetary boundaries may be deleterious or even catastrophic due to the risk of crossing thresholds that will trigger…

A safe operating space for humanity

SUMMARY – New approach proposed for defining preconditions for human development – Crossing certain biophysical thresholds could have disastrous consequences for humanity – Three of nine interlinked planetary boundaries have already been overstepped

Golf courses and wetland fauna

Golf courses are often considered to be chemical-intensive ecosystems with negative impacts on fauna. Here we provide evidence that golf courses can contribute to the support and conservation of wetland fauna, i.e., amphibians and macroinvertebrates. Comparisons of amphibian occurrence, diversity of macroinvetebrates, and occurrence of species of conservation concern were made between permanent freshwater ponds surveyed on golf courses around Sweden’s capital city, Stockholm, and…

Ecosystem Goods and Services from Swedish Coastal Habitats: Identification, Valuation, and Implications of Ecosystem Shifts

Coastal areas are exposed to a variety of threats due to high population densities and rapid economic development. How will this affect human welfare and our dependence on nature’s capacity to provide ecosystem goods and services? This paper is original in evaluating this concern for major habitats (macroalgae, seagrasses, blue mussel beds, and unvegetated soft bottoms) in a temperate coastal setting. More than 40 categories…

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