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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
Curated by Lauren Moss
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Patch Dynamics: Urban Design and Ecology as MosaicCollective

Patch Dynamics: Urban Design and Ecology as MosaicCollective | green streets | Scoop.it

The urban ecology framework of Patch Dynamics has been key in watching how city models such as the megalopolis and the megacity interact and generate urban ecosystem change.


Urban Design practices have always been created in response to emerging and overlapping city models and the disciplinary contexts designers find themselves in. The urban ecology framework of Patch Dynamics has been key in allowing me to see how city models such as the megalopolis and the megacity interact and generate urban ecosystem change. One's first thought about a patch may be that of a shape that changes. However, the concept of a patch in this case describes a set of patches or a mosaic that changes over time. This search is not to find or create the best patch mosaics, or those that function in the most resilient ways.

Instead, it is a project of creating urban design practices and strategies for a diversity of urban actors to engage their patches and democratize the resilience cycle in their own ways.

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Discovering Urban Biodiversity

Discovering Urban Biodiversity | green streets | Scoop.it
The world is losing its biological diversity – or biodiversity – at an alarming rate. The primary force driving this is habitat degradation. When the places where animals, plants, fungi, and the myriad other organisms live are converted to other uses, conditions change and the prior residents often move on or die. The two major causes of this habitat degradation, or the extreme of wholesale habitat loss, are agriculture and urbanization. And it is certainly true that converting forests or wetlands to corn fields or apartment buildings changes the land cover, vegetation, soils, hydrology, and other environmental factors in drastic ways. We all expect that many of the kinds of organisms found in those “natural” environments will be missing from the “manmade” environments. And it stands to reason that, as more of the world is converted to “manmade” habitats, the space left for wild organisms diminishes and many are lost from the earth. [I’m using quotation marks around the words “natural” and “manmade” since these are rather gross oversimplifications of the range of human impacts – but that’s a topic for another day.]

While this narrative is true in the broad sense, it is too simple. It’s not just a case of cities replacing other kinds of ecosystems – there are some important nuances to this process. Many elements of nature – the rocks, soils, sunlight and water, but also many organisms – persist even as a city grows up around them. The kinds of species and their abundances will change after urbanization, but some wild life will remain from the previous community. Urban environments also encourage other kinds of organisms by providing habitats that were not present before and are sometimes even recolonized by species that were originally lost...

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Mário Carmo's curator insight, January 13, 4:20 PM

The biodiversity among us!

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How Green Roofs can Improve our Cities

How Green Roofs can Improve our Cities | green streets | Scoop.it

We all love a room with a view, but when it comes to planning for the future of a building we tend to forget about the world beyond its walls. We home in on the structure itself – its foundations and floors, cavities and cracks – isolating it from its natural surroundings. But the performance of a building depends very much on conditions outside.

The smartest designs are an active part of local ecosystems: they harness heat from the sun, facilitate the flow of fresh air, or take advantage of trees and hillsides for shelter. And they give back, too: habitats for wildlife, drainage for stormwater, greenery to keep a dense city block cool.

The value that local ecosystems offer urban areas is just beginning to be recognised. A recent study in New York City found its trees to be worth $122 million thanks to their part in reducing pollution, improving aesthetics, and keeping inner city temperatures comfortable...

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Economic & Environmental Benefits of Integrating Ecosystems into Urban Planning

Economic & Environmental Benefits of Integrating Ecosystems into Urban Planning | green streets | Scoop.it

Biodiversity Conservation can Improve Human Health in Worlds Growing Cities, according to a new UN assessment...


The Cities and Biodiversity Outlook, a new study from the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), is the world's first global analysis of how projected patterns of land expansion will impact biodiversity and crucial ecosystems.

The world's total urban area is expected to triple between 2000 and 2030, with urban populations set to double to around 4.9 billion in the same period. This expansion will draw heavily on water and other natural resources and will consume prime agricultural land.
Global urbanization will have significant implications for biodiversity and ecosystems if current trends continue, with effects for human health and development, based on the new research.
The assessment, which draws on contributions from more than 123 scientists worldwide, states that over 60 percent of the land projected to become urban by 2030 has yet to be built.
This presents a major opportunity to greatly improve global sustainability by promoting low-carbon, resource-efficient urban development that can reduce adverse effects on biodiversity and improve quality of life..

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Read the complete article for more on the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, as well as an overview of successful initiatives taken on by cities, local authorities and governments in their efforts to develop a green economy...


Via pdjmoo, Digital Sustainability
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Mário Carmo's curator insight, January 13, 4:23 PM

Integrating Ecosystems into Urban Planning Can Deliver Major Economic Benefits and Reduce Environmental Damage

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Sustainable cities: considering the city of tomorrow as an ecosystem

Sustainable cities: considering the city of tomorrow as an ecosystem | green streets | Scoop.it

More than 3.5 billion people now live in cities and this figure is continually increasing. When the UN put the subject of sustainable cities on the Rio+20 agenda it confirmed the fundamental importance of redefining the city, given that rapid urbanization is placing great pressure on water resources, their treatment, the environment, biodiversity and public health. The city must not be designed as a goal in itself, but as an ecosystem in which sustainable resource management – whether of water or energy – is a fundamental priority...

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