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Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 11756-11776; doi:10.3390/su70911756

Ecologizing Our Cities: A Particular, Process-Function View of Southern California, from within Complexity

Ramapo College of New Jersey, 505 Ramapo Valley Road, Mahwah, NJ 07430, USA
Academic Editor: Tan Yigitcanlar
Received: 8 July 2015 / Revised: 16 August 2015 / Accepted: 17 August 2015 / Published: 25 August 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Planning, Development and Management of Sustainable Cities)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [696 KB, uploaded 25 August 2015]

Abstract

Cities, as the quintessential socio-technological artifacts of human civilization, are seen to set us apart from nature. But an ecosystem view from nested scale-hierarchical process-function ecology shows us that cities are best seen as the emergent and nodal end points of interactive flows of matter, energy and information. From within such a view, a clear need emerges to ecologize our cities by better integrating them back with nature. Arguing from such an ecosystem approach to depicting reality, this paper proposes that tracing the processes and functions which constitute the morphology of the city leads us to articulate an urban ecology that incorporates heat island mitigations, urban forestry, and ecological landscape management (taken both as the introduction of native vegetation and the insertion of increased proportions of pervious paving), all considered within the framework of an integrative ecosystem approach to land use planning. More importantly, such an approach to urban ecology is useful because, as a mode of intervention, it rests on—indeed, requires—an acknowledgement in ecological planning of the often amorphous and usually only indirectly sensible atmospheric, biogeochemical and hydrological processes and functions. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecosystem approach; urban ecology; eco-cities; process-function ecology; heat island mitigation; urban forestry; green infrastructure; ecological landscape management ecosystem approach; urban ecology; eco-cities; process-function ecology; heat island mitigation; urban forestry; green infrastructure; ecological landscape management
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Vasishth, A. Ecologizing Our Cities: A Particular, Process-Function View of Southern California, from within Complexity. Sustainability 2015, 7, 11756-11776.

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