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Urban Ecology: Science of Cities

A richly illustrated, worldwide portrayal of urban ecology – it draws scholars, students, and professionals to the field with a solid footing
Presents the ecology of diverse human structures – from residential, commercial and industrial areas to green spaces, corridors and networks
Offers a rich array of spatial patterns, flows/movements, changes over time, simple models, and principles – a key framework to understand the subject
Worldwide learning perspective from hundreds of cities in diverse regions – it provides easy access to a cornucopia of international patterns and solutions

By: Richard TT Forman (Author)

462 pages, 158 b/w photos and b/w illustrations, 3 tables

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Feb 2014 | #207802 | ISBN-13: 9780521188241
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £40.99 $50/€46 approx
Hardback | Feb 2014 | #207801 | ISBN-13: 9781107007000
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £81.99 $100/€92 approx

About this book

How does nature work in our human-created city, suburb, and exurb/peri-urb? Indeed how is ecology – its urban water, soil, air, plant, and animal foundations – spatially entwined with this great human enterprise? And how can we improve urban areas for both nature and people? Urban Ecology explores the entire urban area: from streets, walls, and lawns to riversides, sewer systems, and industrial sites. Urban Ecology presents models, patterns, data, and examples from a breadth of cities worldwide. Numerous illustrations enrich the presentation. Cities are analysed, not as ecologically bad or good, but as places with concentrated rather than dispersed people. Spatial patterns and flows linking organisms, built structures, and the physical environment highlight a treasure chest of useful principles. This pioneering interdisciplinary book opens up frontiers of insight, as a valuable source and text for undergraduates, graduates, researchers, professionals and others with a thirst for solutions to growing urban problems.

"Both extensive in scope and synthetic in approach, this book opens the door wide for designers and planners to employ urban ecology both inventively and credibly. Illuminated by many insightful analytical diagrams, it can be the basis for designing with nature across urban scales: from site to region. I want all my students in the Metropolitan Design Dynamics studio to study it and bring it as key reference into their professional practice. Urban Ecology is a signal achievement that makes Richard Forman's profoundly synthetic understanding of urban ecology accessible to designers and planners. The book's extraordinarily inclusive reach into the literature of many urban disciplines, its typological approach, and its many analytical diagrams will speak to designers and inspire analysts. It should become a standard reference for those who participate in urban ecological design or planning."

- Joan Iverson Nassauer, University of Michigan

"Richard Forman has had the unique education, university environment and international experience to write the first comprehensive urban ecology textbook that will guide the new urban revolution. This innovative book provides the foundation and inspiration for creating healthy, livable, sustainable and resilient cities and towns in the future."

- Mark J. McDonnell, from the Foreword

"In landscape ecology, Richard Forman is well-known for his competence to periodically overview the advancing body of knowledge. He has a sharp eye for new developments and in combination with his pictorial way of analysing the diversity of landscapes and their ecological functioning, his books became landmarks in the field of landscape ecology. With Urban Ecology: Science of Cities, [he] has now captured the urban landscape as a spatial system where humans interact with nature to create a place to live and work. Through the eyes of a landscape architect, we are treated to a comprehensive description of how urban landscape patterns have grown out of this interaction. Unlike other urban ecology books, this is not a book about ecological mechanisms, nor is it about planning urban landscapes. Instead, [he] lets us see the urban environment as a continuously changing living landscape for humans and other organisms."

- Paul Opdam, Alterra Wageningen UR



Part I. Framework
1. Foundations
2. Spatial patterns and mosaics
3. Flows, movements, change

Part II. Ecological Features
4. Urban soil and chemicals
5. Urban air
6. Urban water systems
7. Urban water bodies
8. Urban habitats, vegetation, plants
9. Urban wildlife

Part III. Urban Features
10. Human structures
11. Residential, commercial, industrial areas
12. Greenspaces, corridors, systems


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Richard T. T. Forman is the PAES Professor of Landscape Ecology at Harvard University, where he teaches ecological courses in the Graduate School of Design and in Harvard College. His research and writing include landscape ecology, road ecology, urban ecology, land-use planning and conservation, the netway system, and linking science with spatial pattern to mesh nature and people on the land. His previous title, Urban Regions: Ecology and Planning Beyond the City, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2008.

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