Resilience in Ecology and Urban Design: Linking Theory and Practice for Sustainable Cities

Resilience in Ecology and Urban Design: Linking Theory and Practice for Sustainable Cities


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The contributors to this volume propose strategies of urgent and vital importance that aim to make today’s urban environments more resilient. Resilience, the ability of complex systems to adapt to changing conditions, is a key frontier in ecological research and is especially relevant in creative urban design, as urban areas exemplify complex systems. With something approaching half of the world’s population now residing in coastal urban zones, many of which are vulnerable both to floods originating inland and rising sea levels, making urban areas more robust in the face of environmental threats must be a policy ambition of the highest priority.

The complexity of urban areas results from their spatial heterogeneity, their intertwined material and energy fluxes, and the integration of social and natural processes. All of these features can be altered by intentional planning and design. The complex, integrated suite of urban structures and processes together affect the adaptive resilience of urban systems, but also presupposes that planners can intervene in positive ways. As examples accumulate of linkage between sustainability and building/landscape design, such as the Shanghai Chemical Industrial Park and Toronto’s Lower Don River area, this book unites the ideas, data, and insights of ecologists and related scientists with those of urban designers. It aims to integrate a formerly atomized dialog to help both disciplines promote urban resilience.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9789400753433
Publisher: Springer Netherlands
Publication date: 01/12/2013
Series: Future City , #3
Edition description: 2013
Pages: 499
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.04(d)

Table of Contents


Foreword. Richard T.T. Forman


Introduction: Developing a Metalogue: Ecology, Society and Design

S.T.A. Pickett, M.L. Cadenasso, and Brian P. McGrath


Section I: Ecology, Design, and Social Contexts: Disciplinary Voices and History


Chapter 1: Ecology of the City as a Bridge to Urban Design

S.T.A. Pickett, M.L. Cadenasso, and Brian P. McGrath

Chapter 2: Three Tides: The Development and State of the Art of Urban Ecological Science

M.L. Cadenasso and S.T.A. Pickett

Chapter 3: Social Dynamics and Sustainable Urban Design

Christopher G. Boone

Chapter 4: Integral Urbanism: A Context for Urban Design

Nan Ellin

Chapter 5: Landscape as Method and Medium for the Ecological Design of Cities

Joan Nassauer


Section II. Shared Conceptual Understanding: Four Themes for Bridging Ecology and Urban Design


Theme 1: Spatial Heterogeneity in Ecology and Urban Design


Chapter 6: Ecological Heterogeneity in Urban Ecosystems: Reconceptualized Land Cover Models as a Bridge to Urban Design

M.L. Cadenasso, S.T.A. Pickett, Brian P. McGrath, and Victoria Marshall

Chapter 7: Urban Patch Dynamics and Resilience: Three London Urban Design Ecologies

D. Grahame Shane


Theme 2: Flux of Water in the Urban Realm


Chapter 8: Eco-engineering for Water: From Soft to Hard & Back

Kelly Shannon

Chapter 9: Beyond Restoration and into Design: Hydrologic Alterations in Aridland Cities

Elisabeth K. Larson, Stevan Earl, Elizabeth M. Hagen, Rebecca Hale, Hilairy Hartnett, Michelle McCrackin, Melissa McHale, and Nancy B. Grimm


Theme 3: Resilience: Adaptation and Change in Urban Systems


Chapter 10: Ecological Resilience as a Foundation for Urban Design and Sustainability

Jianguo Wu and Tong Wu

Chapter 11: Slow, Moderate, Fast: Urban Adaptation and Change

Brian P. McGrath


Theme 4: Social Actors and Agents of Urban Organization


Chapter 12: Anchoring a Terrain: Landscapes beyond Urbanism

Dilip da Cunha

Chapter 13: Storyline and Design: How Civic Stewardship Shapes Urban Design in New York City

Erika S. Svendsen

Chapter 14: Eco-cities without Ecology: Constructing Ideologies, Valuing Nature

Julie Sze and Gerardo Gambirazzio


Section III. Bridging Ecology and Urban Design Practice


Chapter 15: Sponge City

Ignacio F. Bunster-Ossa

Chapter 16: Civic Space in Regional Frameworks: Resilient Approaches to Urban Design

Jill Desimini

Chapter 17: Aesthetic Resilience

Victoria Marshall with Christina Tague

Chapter 18: Anchoring Philadelphia

Anuradha Mathur and Dilip da Cunha

Chapter 19: Shanghai Chemical Industrial Park Treatment Wetland: Integrated Strategies in Natural Treatment System Design

Kerry Rubin and Rowan Roderick-Jones

Chapter 20: Just Ground: A Social Infrastructure for Urban Landscape Regeneration

Julie Bargmann

Chapter 21: Ecological and Social Linkages in Urban Design Projects: A Synthesis

J. Morgan Grove


Section IV. Urban Design in Expanded Disciplinary and Geographical Contexts


Chapter 22: The Design Process as a Framework for Collaboration between Ecologists and Designers

Alexander J. Felson

Chapter 23: Remixing Messages: A Call for Collaboration between Artists and Scientists

Mary Miss

Chapter 24: Landscape Urbanism: A North American Perspective

Alissa North and Charles Waldheim

Chapter 25: Urbanism and Ecological Rationality

Paola Viganò

Chapter 26: Bangkok: The Ecology and Design of an Aqua-City

Danai Thaitakoo, Brian McGrath, Suebsiri Srithanyarat, and Ying Palopakon

Chapter 27: Disturbanism in the South Pacific: Disturbance Ecology as a Basis for Urban Resilience in Small Island States

Rod Barnett and Jacqueline Margetts


Section V. Moving Forward


Chapter 28: The Ecology of the Metacity: Shaping the Dynamic, Patchy, Networked, and Adaptive Cities of the Future

S.T.A. Pickett, Brian P. McGrath, and M.L. Cadenasso



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