Changing urban areas using landscape scale ecological processes and thinking
Symposium organised by:
Philip James, University of Salford, UK and UNESCO – UK-MAB Urban Forum, UK.
Alison Millward, UNESCO – UK-MAB Urban Forum, UK.
Kerry Morrison, UNESCO – UK-MAB Urban Forum, UK.
Oliver J. Bishop, University of Salford, UK.
Matthew Dennis, University of Salford, UK.
Landscape ecological processes within urban areas, and between urban and rural areas, deliver important ecosystem services. This symposium will explore new ways of viewing landscape ecological processes both within and outside urban areas. It will draw attention to the dynamics of urban areas and to the ecology of towns and cities.
While urban areas are dominated by buildings, the spaces between – parks, allotments, gardens, rivers, canals, and brownfield sites - and innovative uses of roofs and vertical surfaces make significant contributions to the ecological value of urban landscapes. Landscapes, both within and outside urban areas, also deliver a range of services which benefit those living and working within cities and towns. These services include food provision, climate change adaptation, flood prevention, and important cultural services associated with recreation and sense of place.
As the importance of these ecosystem services becomes embedded in international and national policies, there are multiple drivers supporting an intensive study of urban ecology, raising questions about the ways in which urban spaces are designed, managed, and maintained, a particular challenge as public investment across Europe is reduced. There is therefore potential for new, innovative approaches that address multiple benefits for those who live and work in cities and towns.
The disconnect between the temporal scale of ecological and built environment processes has been put forward as a factor that adversely affects urban ecology. This symposium will take a different perspective and asks if landscape ecology can provide insights that recognise the dynamics of urban processes. It will challenge the traditional view of landscape ecology and explore innovative approaches to the design of urban spaces to make them more ecologically valuable and deliver increasing levels of ecosystem services over time. It will also explore how we might influence planners and landscape designers to recognise the strategic ecological significance of these spaces.
It is intended that posters and presentations from the symposium will be made available to wider society via open source publication routes via the University of Salford and the UK MAB Urban Forum.