Urban Ecology: An Introduction seeks to open the reader's mind and eyes to the way in which nature permeates everyday urban living, and how it has to be understood, cared for, and managed to make our towns and cities healthier places in which to live and more resilient to environmental and other changes. The authors examine how contact with nature can improve our health, the air we breathe, the waters we use and our enjoyment of parks and gardens. The text sets out the science that underlies the changing natural scene and the management tools used to ensure that cities become both capable of adapting to climate change and more beautiful and more resilient places in which to live.
The work begins with a discussion of the nature of urban places and the role of nature in towns and cities. In Part 1 the authors consider the context and content of urban ecology, its relationship to other foci of interest within ecology and other environmental sciences, and the character of city landscapes and ecosystems. In Part 2 the authors set out the physical and chemical components of urban ecosystems and ecological processes, including urban weather and climate, urban geomorphology and soils, urban hydrology and urban biogeochemical cycles. In Part 3 urban habitats, urban flora and fauna, and the effects of disturbance and succession, of pests and predators, and deliberate and inadvertent human action on urban biota are examined. Part 4 contains an exploration of the identification and assessment of ecosystem services in urban areas, emphasising economic evaluation, the importance of urban nature for human health and well-being, and restoration ecology and creative conservation. Finally, in Part 5 the tasks for urban ecologists in optimising and sustaining urban ecosystems, providing for nature in cities, adapting to climate change and in developing the urban future in a more sustainable manner are set out.
Within the 16 chapters of Urban Ecology: An Introduction – in which examples from around the world are drawn upon – the authors explore current practice and future alternatives, set out procedures for ecological assessment and evaluation, suggest student activities and discussion topics, provide recommended reading and an extensive bibliography. Urban Ecology: An Introduction contains more than 150 tables and over 150 photographs and diagrams.
Part I Why Urban Ecology: Its Significance for Human Life in Urban Areas
1. An Ecosystem Approach to Urban Areas
2. Urban Ecosystem Services and the Assessment of their Values
3. Human Health and Well-Being
4. Urban Design and Urban Planning for Sustainability and Adaptation to Climate Change
Part II The Physical Environment
5. The Built and Human Environment in Urban Settlements
6. Urban Climate and the Energy Balance
7. Urban Geomorphology and Urban Soils: Knowing the Ground You Build on and Which You Cultivate
8. Urban Hydrology
9. Urban Biogeochemistry
Part III Ecosystems, Habitats and Species
10. Urban Landscapes, Ecosystems and Habitat
11. Urban Flora and Vegetation
12. Urban Fauna
Part IV Ensuring the Viability and Sustainability of Urban Ecosystems
13. From the Bottom-Up: Individual and Community Actions to Sustain Urban Ecology
14. Actions by Municipal and Metropolitan Region Governments
15. Restoration Ecology and Creative Conservation: Local and Regional Conservation
16. Actions by National Government, National NGOs and International Bodies
17. Future Ecology of Urban Areas: New Ecocities and Retrofitted Adaptive Greener Cities