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Urban Landscapes and Sustainable Cities

Erik Andersson, Stockholm University

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Abstract

Ecological research targeting sustainable urban landscapes needs to include findings and methods from many lines of ecological research, such as the link between biodiversity and ecosystem function, the role of humans in ecosystems, landscape connectivity, and resilience. This paper reviews and highlights the importance of these issues for sustainable use of ecosystem services, which is argued to be one aspect of sustainable cities. The paper stresses the need to include social and economic factors when analyzing urban landscapes. Spatially explicit data can be used to assess the roles different green areas have in providing people with ecosystem services, and whether people actually have access to the services. Such data can also be used to assess connectivity and heterogeneity, both argued to be central for continuous, long-term provision of these services, and to determine the role urban form has for sustainability.

Key words

ecosystem function; landscape scale; sustainable development; urban ecology
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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087