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Ecological Urban Planning and Design: A Systematic Literature Review

Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute, School of Design and the Built Environment, Curtin University, Bentley 6102, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3723;
Received: 30 May 2019 / Revised: 28 June 2019 / Accepted: 4 July 2019 / Published: 8 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Urban Planning and Land Management)
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Urbanization is a defining feature of the modern age, yet the current model of urban development profoundly alters the natural environment, often reducing biodiversity and ultimately threatening human wellbeing. An ecologically based urban planning and design paradigm should consider a more harmonious relationship. Through a systematic literature review of 57 papers, this research identified relevant concepts and theories that could underpin this new paradigm. It revealed a noticeable increase in academic interest in this subject since 2013 and the development of concepts and theories that reflect a more holistic socio-ecological systems approach to urban planning and design based on a transdisciplinary integration and synthesis of research. Seven main themes underpin the academic literature: ecosystem services, socio-ecological systems, resilience, biodiversity, landscape, green infrastructure, as well as integrated and holistic approaches. Six of these can be organised into either a sustainability stream or a spatial stream, representing the foundations of a potential new ecological urban planning and design paradigm that applies sustainability-related concepts in a spatial setting. The final theme, integrated and holistic, includes concepts that reflect the fundamental characteristics of this new paradigm, which can be termed ‘urban consonance’. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban planning; systematic literature review; ecosystem services; urban consonance urban planning; systematic literature review; ecosystem services; urban consonance

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Heymans, A.; Breadsell, J.; Morrison, G.M.; Byrne, J.J.; Eon, C. Ecological Urban Planning and Design: A Systematic Literature Review. Sustainability 2019, 11, 3723.

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