PUBLICATION Journal article

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 ecosystem services consumed in cities are generated by ecosystems located outside of the cities themselves, not seldom half a world away. In order to operationalize our knowledge, hypothesis and theories on the connections between the work of nature and the welfare and survival of humans over time, we suggest the use of the ecosystem service framework in combination with the merging of the concept “ecology in cities”, mainly focusing on designing energy efficient building, sustainable logistics and providing inhabitants with healthy and functioning green urban environments, and the “ecology of cities”. The “ecology of cities” framework acknowledges the total dependence of cities on the surrounding landscape and the ever-ongoing dance between urban and rural, viewing the city as an ecosystem.

Keywords: biodiversity, Ecology of cities, ecosystem service, resilience, Sustainable cities

Jansson, Å. 2013. Reaching for a sustainable, resilient urban future using the lens of ecosystem services. Ecological Economics 86:285-291.