University of Wisconsin-Madison, January 15, 2015 -▶ HUMANITY HAS EXCEEDED 4 of 9 'PLANETARY BOUNDARIES,' ACCORDING TO RESEARCHERS. An international team of researchers says climate change, the loss of biosphere integrity, land-system change, and altered biogeochemical cycles like phosphorus and nitrogen runoff have all passed beyond levels that put humanity in a “safe operating space.” http://www.news.wisc.edu/23409
Mother Jones, January 16, 2016 -▶ WE'RE DESTROYING THE PLANET IN WAYS THAT ARE EVEN WORSE THAN GLOBAL WARMING. Humans are "eating away at our own life support systems" at a rate unseen in the past 10,000 years by degrading land and freshwater systems, emitting greenhouse gases and releasing vast amounts of agricultural chemicals into the environment, new research has found. http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2015/01/humans-destorying-planet-earth
A quoi pourrait ressembler Paris en 2050 ? Voilà un question qui suscite beaucoup d'interrogation. Mais, en réalité il ne s'agit pas que d'une question sur Paris, mais bel et bien d'une question planétaire sur le devenir de nos villes. Smart City
This was a thought that popped into my mind after a number of real life and online conversations about the concept of multiple capitals. We are perhaps at the start of our journey to reform concepts of value. The capitals approach presents a vital topographical guide to the territory we must traverse. However, the route we will take remains uncertain and our ability to successfully reach a sustainable destination, in the time we might have available, also remains in question.
Design Trust put together a metrics framework that measured the associated activities of urban agriculture with the known benefits derived from various studies to convince city officials of urban farming's positive impact.
Transforming underutilized land into productive urban farms was one of the many topics which were presented at the recent Kansas City Design Week. Jerome Chou, past Director of Programs at the Design Trust for Public Space, presented his unique experience with the implementation of the Five Boroughs Farm in New York City and the impact that urban agriculture can have on low-income areas of a city.
Chou pointed out that having the land available for an urban farm is only half of the battle. The other half involves changing local zoning laws, influencing political opinion, garnering economic support, and proving the project will have a net benefit to a community...
Many cities (like NYC) are leaving old prejudices behind and are converting green areas and unused land to urban agriculture. Improving food security and resilience, reduce city's ecological footprint, supporting pollinators, increasing biodiversity and building sense of community are just a few examples of the benefits it provides
What is the best way to navigate through the mountain of publications that emerged from 2014 to find the gems that should absolutely be on your reading list? For those looking to brush up on their knowledge on ecosystem services and resilience, we're sharing the top ten reads as identified by a polling of the ESR Working Group.
In Berlin, informal strategies explicitly refer to the ecosystem service framework.
Financial constraints on municipal budget severely affect green space development. Low awareness of benefits & insufficient communication challenge green development. The ecosystem services framework is useful to communicate green space benefits.
Totally agree with Mario's insight: the concept of ecosystem services, may provide a useful argument to promote the conservation of existing urban green spaces and to communicate the benefits that urban nature provides for urban dwellers
Cultural landscapes generate many ecological values. Much of the cultural landscape exists as private or semi-private domestic gardens. These domestic gardens are hidden treasures of information on small-scale urban landscape design, urban biodiversity and the relation between citizens and their direct living environments. In this paper, an indicator framework is proposed that aims to engage citizens in experiencing and exploring biodiversity and ecosystem services in their own domestic outdoor spaces. By integrating ecological and cultural factors related to garden biodiversity the framework intends to fill a gap in existing research on domestic gardens that has until now either focused on ecological factors, or on preferences of garden owners. The framework has been developed by analysing pictures of front-yards in Phoenix (AZ, USA) and Maastricht (the Netherlands). With the BIMBY [Biodiversity in My (Back) Yard] framework we aim to contribute to an inclusive trans-disciplinary and transformational dialogue on ecosystem services, green infrastructure and biodiversity conservation in the context of the sustainable development of cities.
Biodiversity conservation; Green infrastructures Domestic gardening Urban sustainability; Ecosystem services and disservices; Urban design.
With the majority of the world's population living in urban areas, its time to ask how they can become more livable, sustainable and resilient. biodiverCities explores why biodiversity should be the business of everyone committed to building more sustainable cities.
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..
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...
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