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Abstract

While wildlands are increasingly being transformed into managed ecosystems in rural areas around the world, cities are now also being recognized for their “wilderness” areas. Cities and wilderness have a complex relationship based on constantly changing human-nature interactions and social values. Therefore, understanding the complex nature of the urban-wilderness relationship requires approaches from both the social and natural sciences. This special feature seeks to advance our understanding of this relationship by highlighting the many benefits of wild urban ecosystems for people and biodiversity. From a practical perspective, the special feature examines ways of incorporating urban wilderness into contemporary global urban trends such as green space design, green infrastructure, urban biodiversity conservation and sustainable cities. We conclude that engaging with the wild side of cities is a timely issue, offering unique and rarely exploited opportunities for developing liveable cities and connecting people with nature.

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... Cities are anthropogenic landscapes [1] and urban vegetation, in both public spaces and privately owned residential yards, reflects the ideologies and preferences of the people who live there. Urban green spaces, the vegetated patches within the urban landscape, provide a range of social and ecological benefits for human wellbeing and biodiversity [2][3][4][5][6][7]. Although highly modified by humans [8], urban environments can host species populations across managed and unmanaged ecosystems with the same biological diversity as nearby rural ones [5,9,10]. ...
... Urban green spaces, the vegetated patches within the urban landscape, provide a range of social and ecological benefits for human wellbeing and biodiversity [2][3][4][5][6][7]. Although highly modified by humans [8], urban environments can host species populations across managed and unmanaged ecosystems with the same biological diversity as nearby rural ones [5,9,10]. For example, insect pollinator populations, critical to global food production [11,12] are declining because of land uses that cause habitat loss and reduced foraging and nesting resources [13,14]. ...
... People create personal visions of nature [4] and translate them into routine yard practices [78]. In cities, vegetation wildness and wild spaces are shaped by human preferences and management, providing valuable social, cultural, and ecological benefits for both people and biological communities [5]. Global threats to insect pollinator populations can, unexpectedly, be mitigated by vegetation-management choices made by regular citizens in urban landscapes [17]. ...
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Insect pollinator populations, critical to the global food supply, are declining. Research has found robust bee communities in cities, which are supported by diverse urban habitat and foraging resources. Accounting for 35–50% of urban green space, U.S. private residential yards can serve as important forage and nesting sources for pollinators. Incorporating wild attributes and wildness, such as native vegetation and less intensive yard-management practices, is key. However, urban vegetation, and its effects on local native bee populations, is shaped by social and cultural preferences, norms, aesthetics, values, and identities. The perfect lawn ideal of a highly manicured turfgrass yard dominates neighborhood landscapes and is often at odds with the habitat needs of pollinators. As part of a three-year study investigating the sociocultural drivers of residential vegetation choices in St. Louis, MO, USA, we interviewed 85 decisionmakers in order to understand choices about private residential yard maintenance. This paper presents an emergent finding concerning how residents conceptualize and talk about the urban-yard aesthetic, using the terms "wild" and "wildness", which reflect a range of levels in the demand for urban wild spaces in their neighborhoods. The discourse of wildness offers a nontechnical route for understanding the connections between the ecological consequences of urbanization, with human attitudes towards nature that shape the biological functioning of human-generated habitats.
... Urban areas are continually expanding, especially in developing regions, driven by population growth (McKinney 2006;Aida et al. 2016;McKinney et al. 2018). India has many highly urbanized zones that are spreading rapidly and severely impacting biodiversity (Nagendra et al. 2013). ...
... Urban areas are continually expanding, especially in developing regions, driven by population growth (McKinney 2006;Aida et al. 2016;McKinney et al. 2018). India has many highly urbanized zones that are spreading rapidly and severely impacting biodiversity (Nagendra et al. 2013). ...
... Such disturbances affect biodiversity and regional ecology, often leading to species extinctions and 'Biotic Homogenization (BH)'-high biotic similarity between habitats at various scales (Rahel 2002). BH is fuelled by several factors including environmental changes, pollution, habitat alteration and species invasions, all of which typically result from urbanization (McKinney 2006). ...
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Data on the urbanization impact on freshwater biota and ecosystem function are limited from many developing countries despite being recognized as a driver for biodiversity loss. To study these impacts, we analysed the species richness and diversity patterns of freshwater gastropods along a gradient of urbanization in a river system around Pune city, India. We observed a significant reduction in species richness, faunal similarity and an increased proportion of non-native species with increasing urbanization. These impacts were prominent in highly urbanized sites of the rivers suggesting biotic homogenization. Our results underscore the great impacts of urbanization on freshwater biota, highlighting the need for further studies in developing regions.
... For instance, trees contribute to different dimensions of the concept "biodiversity" through the taxonomic diversity of the trees themselves, the other species they physically support, and through the species-interactions and ecological functions they facilitate (Kowarik, 2011). In addition, they represent a source of contributions to human well-being and landscape functions (e.g., Dobbs et al., 2011;Endreny et al., 2017;Kardan et al., 2015;McKinney et al., 2018). For example, they contribute to carbon sequestration (Price et al., 2017), intercept micro-pollutants that are detrimental to human health (McDonald et al., 2016;Nowak et al., 2014), provide shade and local cooling during summer months (Willis and Petrokofsky, 2017) and attenuate the urban heat-island effect (Pramova et al., 2012). ...
... Managers of trees recognise that many native tree species will likely face increasingly high mortality rates in urban environments if phenomena such as urban heat-island effects and climate change lead to warmer, drier environments (Aflaki et al., 2017;Aitken et al., 2008;Endreny et al., 2017;Estoque et al., 2017;Myint et al., 2013;Ren et al., 2013;Sun et al., 2017). As a result, a number of recent studies have called for the integration of non-native species into conservation strategic planning and urban forestry management plans (Bodnaruk et al., 2017;Conway et al., 2019;Dobbs et al., 2014;Kowarik, 2018;McKinney et al., 2018;Sjöman et al., 2016). ...
Article
Urban trees are appreciated for their intrinsic value and their contributions to human well-being. Here, we analysed a database of 115′686 non-forest trees (1’025 species) to quantify the present contributions of native and non-native trees to biodiversity (taxonomic richness) in the metropolitan area of Geneva, Switzerland. Non-native trees made up 90 % of species and 40 % of individuals. A subset of these individuals with more detailed phenotypic information (N = 50’718 trees; 527 species) was used to quantify five regulating ecosystem services (micro-particle capture, carbon sequestration, water interception, microclimatic cooling, and support for pollinators), three cultural ecosystem services (natural heritage, recreational, and aesthetic value) and two disservices (allergies and biological invasiveness). Non-native and native trees generated roughly identical regulating services, on a per-tree basis, as these are linked primarily to tree morphology rather than to tree-origin. Non-native trees generated cultural ecosystem services that were greater than native trees, on a per-tree basis, with the exception of the notion of “natural heritage”. For example, 79 % (163/207) of trees independently identified as “remarkable” by the canton of Geneva were non-native. Our results illustrate that non-native trees represent a significant source of biodiversity and ecosystem services both in absolute terms and on a per-tree basis. Given the empirical importance of non-native trees in many cities, and the likelihood that their importance will increase with future climate change, we suggest that non-native trees be considered in conservation assessments and strategic planning both for intrinsic reasons and for their contributions to human well-being.
... As research interest in these informal and spontaneous urban landscape conditions continues to grow, both IGS and USV have been increasingly understood as vital contributors to the health and resilience of urban ecosystems (Davis et al., 2011;Kowarik, 2018). As these plant communities are self-evidently adapted to local site conditions, and emerge at no cost, USV has long been studied by urban ecologists as an authentic form of biodiversity within human dominated environments, worthy of further study and perhaps even conservation (Deakin, 1855;Del Tredici, 2014;Ellis et al., 2012;Gandy, 2013;Kühn, 2006;McKinney et al., 2018;Salisbury, 1970;Sukopp et al., 1979). Yet to date the perceived value and acceptance of USV by human inhabitants of the city remains a topic of significant contention and debate. ...
... However it was also shown that perception of IGS in legacy cities is marked by considerable negative sentiment, especially in the context of structural and lot IGS types. This is in line with previous research, suggesting biodiversity is not always associated with preference (Gyllin and Grahn, 2005;McKinney et al., 2018;Riley et al., 2018). It should be noted that even the upper bounds of the mean preference scores presented in Table 3 do not necessarily indicate that any of these landscapes were liked by the survey respondents, as most fall between 1 and 3 (which were phrased as "a little" and "moderately" liked in the survey language). ...
Article
Legacy cities are increasingly understood as drivers of various informal landscape patterns and processes which arise from the conditions of economic contraction and neglect. This study finds that the presence of urban spontaneous vegetation (USV) contributes to the biodiversity of informal urban greenspaces (IGS) in two American legacy cities—Detroit and Flint, Michigan. A mixed-method research design was used to compare quantitative measures of in-situ biodiversity (Simpson’s Index), to perceptual measures of biodiversity and landscape preference using an online survey (N = 53). Results of a linear mixed model analysis show a statistically significant (p < 0.0001) quadratic (curvilinear) relationship between these variables, with respondents reporting higher preference for intermediate levels of IGS biodiversity as compared to IGS sites containing lower or higher biodiversity. This tendency, which is confirmed by several previous studies is referred to herein as the threshold effect. Findings further suggest that perceived biodiversity is not significantly correlated with measured biodiversity in IGS, and that perceived biodiversity may be impacted by limitations in visual representation and other factors. Results of a sentiment analysis suggest that unmaintained landscapes in legacy cities are subject to considerable negative sentiment among the public. The paper concludes with recommendations for more consistent methods of studying USV in IGS which combine in situ assessed and perceptual measures of biodiversity. It also examines actionable policy innovations and maintenance interventions for “intended wildness” that balance ecocentric and anthropocentric values in a world of diminishing municipal maintenance budgets.
... Making use of successional processes is established practice in restoration ecology [66][67][68] and is often referred to as "passive restoration" [55]. Since the beginning of this century, rewilding has been a hot topic in ecosystem management and biodiversity conservation [55,69] and is also attracting increasing attention in cities [51,70,71]. However, since cities are hotspots for alien plant species, there are concerns that introduced species could have a negative impact on native species in urban forest patches [13,26,27,[72][73][74][75]. ...
... Enhance wilderness in cities. Since wilderness areas significantly decline at a global scale [2], the aim of promoting wilderness areas in urban environments-complementing the highly managed ecosystems in public and private greenspaces-is on the urban agenda [70]. Emerging urban forests represent a kind of "novel urban wilderness," with species assemblages contrasting with the "ancient wilderness" of natural forest remnants but similarly shaped by natural processes [104]. ...
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Many cities aim to increase urban forest cover to benefit residents through the provision of ecosystem services and to promote biodiversity. As a complement to traditional forest plantings, we address opportunities associated with “emerging urban forests” (i.e., spontaneously developing forests in cities) for urban biodiversity conservation. We quantified the area of successional forests and analyzed the species richness of native and alien plants and of invertebrates (carabid beetles, spiders) in emerging forests dominated by alien or native trees, including Robinia pseudoacacia, Acer platanoides, and Betula pendula. Emerging urban forests were revealed as shared habitats of native and alien species. Native species richness was not profoundly affected by the alien (co-)dominance of the canopy. Instead, native and alien plant species richnesses were positively related. Numbers of endangered plants and invertebrates did not differ between native- and alien-dominated forest patches. Patterns of tree regeneration indicate different successional trajectories for novel forest types. We conclude that these forests (i) provide habitats for native and alien species, including some endangered species, (ii) allow city dwellers to experience wild urban nature, and (iii) support arguments for adapting forests to dynamic urban environments. Integrating emerging urban forests into the urban green infrastructure is a promising pathway to sustainable cities and can complement traditional restoration or greening approaches.
... These areas were reserved for interaction with nature for purposes of work, for those in the business of natural resource extraction, or leisure, for typically white, middle-to upper-class individuals seeking a temporary escape from life in built, densely populated urban cores. Presently, the relationship between humans and nature in cities has changed; most Americans no longer rely on local production for subsistence, global ecological concerns indiscriminately affect people everywhere, and it is widely accepted that a notion of nature, from which humans are entirely removed, represents a false construct (Cronon 1996;McKinney, Ingo, and Kendal 2018). ...
... It is widely recognized that human systems cannot be decoupled from natural systems, and thus, human settlements should not be considered apart from nature or wilderness. In light of global ecological challenges, people have more responsibility than ever to maintain high quality environments along with high quality of life in cities (Cronon 1996;McKinney, Ingo, and Kendal 2018). ...
... Weathering Sikkema et al., 2014Bartley, 2010Chen and Qi, 2018Fu et al., 2018;Kowarik, 2018;McKinney and Ingo, 2018;McPherson et al., 2018;Pei et al., 2018 No direct interaction ...
... Improving Air Quality, Green and Public Spaces (11.6/11.7/11.a/11.b) Chen and Qi, 2018;Fu et al., 2018;Kowarik, 2018;McKinney and Ingo, 2018;McPherson et al., 2018;Pei et al., 2018 Improving Air Quality, Green and Public Spaces, Peri-urban Spaces (11.6/11.7/11.a/11.b) Technological Upgradation and Innovation, Promotion of Inclusive Industrialization (9.1/9.2/9.5) ...
... In recent years, studies on the relationship between bird diversity and vegetation have mostly been conducted in natural environments [10][11][12]. However, with the rapid development and spread of urbanization, it is particularly important to conduct such research in urban areas [13][14][15]. The complexity of urban green space vegetation is an extremely vital influence and predictor of biodiversity, and vegetation habitat factors have been shown to explain more variation in bird diversity than other environmental factors [16,17]. ...
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The coastal areas of southeast China have typical high-density urbanization characteristics, and urban mountain parks are important green spaces in these urban green space systems. Our study was conducted in five typical urban mountain parks in Fuzhou, China. The bird survey was carried out in 25 transects of different vegetation habitats for 10 months, and the vegetation survey was conducted in 25 habitats to investigate the characteristics of bird communities in different vegetation habitats and the causes of their differences. The results showed: (1) From 1 October 2021 to 15 July 2022, we recorded a total of 90 bird species in 8 orders, 37 families, and 64 genera, with 1879 individuals in five vegetation habitats in the urban mountain parks. (2) Abundance and diversity of trees are vegetation variables affecting bird diversity (bird species richness, abundance, and Shannon diversity) in urban mountain parks, and the average branch height under trees has a significant effect on bird evenness. (3) We found more bird species and higher bird diversity in both sparse and dense forest habitats, but fewer bird species in waterfront, shrub, and grassland habitats; (4) Average tree height (AVE_HEIt) was only present in the best model of bird abundance and evenness. However, none of the best models found a significant effect of the number of tourists and predators on bird diversity. Our results could provide a theoretical basis and guidance for the future improvement of ecological service functions of bird habitats in urban mountain parks in subtropical coastal areas.
... In respect of habitats, the areas are often characterized by high insolation, high diversity of trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants, providing both food and nesting sites, as well as presence of patches of bare soil. That is why they are attractive to wild bees and other insects (McKinney et al., 2018;. ...
Article
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Protection and increasing of biodiversity in urban areas should be a priority for urban authorities, managers of green areas, and the society. This objective can be reached by proper shaping of vegetation structure in green spaces, including urban wastelands, on the basis of e.g. investigation of relations between bees and their food plants. We evaluated the attractiveness of vegetation to the Apiformes, as an indicator of food availability in wastelands, in the city of Bydgoszcz and its suburbs. In respect of species richness and abundance, early-spring bees (emergence in March-April) and spring bees (emergence in May) prevailed in suburban habitats. In contrast, in urban wastelands, summer species of bees (emergence in June) were the richest and most abundant. This was linked with analogous differences in species richness of bee food plants starting to flower in those periods, and various plant life-forms played important roles in individual phenological periods. In the case of early-spring and spring bee species, the differences concerned primarily polylectic and cleptoparasitic bees, which prevailed in suburban habitats. Polylectic bees that emerged in summer were more abundant in urban habitats. No such a relationship was observed for oligolectic species, whose occurrence depends on the presence of a narrow group of bee food plant species, irrespective of their location and degree of human disturbance. We also found that trees and shrubs were major sources of food for the dominant bee species in early spring and spring. Among native plants, the most important role was played by apophytes (i.e. native plants typically growing on disturbed land) starting to flower in spring. Our results can be used by managers of urban landscape to shape urban vegetation so that it provides a continuous supply of food for bees and other pollinating insects.
... Forms of urban nature are varying across cities, like conserved remnants, restored natural ecosystems, abandoned wastelands and designed landscapes (McKinney, et al., 2018). They can include besides remnants of natural ecosystems and traditional elements, like forests, wetlands, grasslands, parks, gardens, (Egerer, et al., 2019), recent innovative forms of integration (such as green roofs or walls, vertical gardens). ...
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Faced with multiple internal and external challenges, urban environments are increasingly searching for instruments adequate for achieving their sustainability goals. Different forms of urban nature can represent such instruments of addressing new societal ambitions, but in the same time can determine the emergence of urban environmental conflicts. We present an overview of how urban nature can become trigger and influencing factors for environmental conflicts under different policy contexts and how we can research and resolute conflicts of key urban actors by increasing public participation in the decision-making process. Environmental conflicts involving urban nature are presented across different elements, such as urban green and blue areas, urban biodiversity, protected areas or urban agriculture. We advocate for nature-based solutions as an integrated manner of including nature in urban areas without environmental conflicts emerging.
... These gradients involve manifold implications for conserving, developing and managing urban forests. Conserving natural forest remnants in urban areas, for example, is a wellestablished conservation target (e.g., [34]), while promoting wilderness in cities increasingly gains importance [45][46][47], including opportunities associated with novel woodland emerging on vacant land [9,48]. Reconciling economically motivated forest management with the provisioning of cultural ecosystems is a common challenge [49] as is the consideration of aesthetic values [32]. ...
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In an era of urbanization, forests are a key component of the urban green infrastructure, providing multiple benefits to urban residents. While emerging forests on urban wasteland could increase the urban forest area, it is unclear how residents view such novel forest types. In a comparative self-administered online survey, we assessed attitudes and emotions of residents (n = 299) from the Berlin region, Germany, towards forest types that represent transformation stages from natural to novel forests: (1) natural remnants, (2) silvicultural plantings, (3) park forests and (4) novel wild forests in wastelands. Respondents expressed positive attitudes and emotions towards all forest types, including the novel wild forest. Ratings were most positive towards natural remnants and least positive towards the novel wild forest. The indicated prevalence of non-native trees (Ailanthus altissima, Robinia pseudoacacia) did not evoke negative responses. Women and younger people were more positive towards the novel wild forest compared to other respondents, and men were most positive towards natural remnants. Place attachment was positively related to the park forest. Results indicate support for a wide range of forest types, including novel wild forests and non-native tree species, which can be used to expand urban forest areas and enhance opportunities for nature experience in cities.
... A new wave of greening concepts has adopted naturalistic planting as a part of its design (Özgüner, Kendle, & Bisgrove, 2007) and unintentional informal greenspaces, such as ruderal plants in vacant lots, in an extended framework of "four natures" (Kowarik, 2013). These new ideas have also sparked discussions on higher plant species diversity brought about by spontaneous vegetation (Robinson & Lundholm, 2012) and potential contributions of "wilder" landscapes to liveable cities (McKinney, Ingo, & Kendal, 2018). Our results suggest that such species diversity is also present in supposedly designed landscapes. ...
Article
[Open access, please click DOI to access full article] Natural and human drivers both drive novel assemblages of native and non-native plants in urban vegetation, but they are often studied separately. We studied both planted and spontaneously-established plants in urban parks to understand how natural and human drivers co-determine urban plant assemblages. Vascular plants in 78 Taipei City parks covering 336.6 ha were surveyed through a complete sweep of all vegetation. Park typologies were defined using nonmetric multidimensional scaling of 1149 species and park characteristics. NMS1 was defined by planted species and was most related to park-size: Small community-parks had a low diversity of shade-trees and small shrubs/ornamental-plants; Large multifunctional parks had the highest plant diversity. NMS2 was defined by spontaneously-established species and determined by vertical structure: Natural forest remnants were structurally the most complex, hosted many spontaneously-established native shrub- and epiphyte-layer species, and had the highest native diversity; City beautification parks had the simplest structure and low planted diversity, but hosted a high richness of spontaneously-established herbaceous plants, many of them non-natives. Alternative “anthropogenic versions” of various species-area hypotheses were proposed. Although landscape designers are the dominant drivers of plant composition in urban parks, the variety of artificially-created habitat structures provided the settings upon which natural ecological processes of spontaneous establishment could unfold. Landscape architects could enhance native species persistence by providing a diversity of habitat structures, using natural elements and a higher abundance of native herbaceous species, and ensuring potential habitats for native herbaceous and epiphyte species in urban greenspaces are effectively connected to their natural populations.
... Wild urban nature, the second key feature of GBB, and its integration into urban green systems are hot topics today (McKinney, Kowarik, & Kendal, 2018). The development of GBB and other greenspaces in Berlin anticipated this trend by some 20 years. ...
Article
Urban greenways benefit urban dwellers by providing multiple ecosystem services and by supporting biodiversity conservation in cities. Increasing competition for open space in growing cities, however, often hinders the establishment of greenways in those places where social demands for related services are highest. In the wake of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, a new greenway, the “Green Belt Berlin,” is being established within the former border zone, which now links Berlin’s core with the rural hinterland. An analysis of the planning approaches and principles that directed the implementation of the greenway and the transformation of vacant urban land into new parks revealed ways to (i) extend urban green infrastructure in times and places of political transformation; (ii) justify new greenspace by combining multiple ecological, social, and cultural goals within overarching planning programs; (iii) conserve and stage remnants of the Berlin Wall, allowing the greenway to become part of a decentralized memorial landscape; (iv) work with novel ecosystems and wild urban nature by integrating ecology with urban planning and design; and (v) use design interventions to create “orderly frames.” Spatial analyses indicate that the new greenway may reduce environmental inequity in Berlin as it largely intersects neighborhoods where disadvantaged status coincides with poor access to urban greenspace. This case study thus demonstrates opportunities to strengthen the urban green infrastructure of growing cities through integrative planning approaches.
... From these insights, a narrative regarding cities' contribution to biodiversity conservation has developed, and with this several strategies to promote urban biodiversity have been suggested. Classical approaches such as the designation of protected areas are increasingly complemented by integrative approaches arguing for a biodiversity-friendly management of green spaces Chollet, Brabant, Tessier, & Jung, 2018), a reconciliation of urban land use and biodiversity conservation (Elmqvist et al., 2013), the integration of biodiversity in urban design (Garrard, Williams, Mata, Thomas, & Bekessy, 2018) or the promotion of urban wilderness (Hwang, Yue, Ling, & Tan, 2019; McKinney, Kowarik, & Kendal, 2018). ...
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1. With accelerating urbanization, the urban contribution to biodiversity conservation becomes increasingly important. Previous research shows that cities can host many endangered plant species. However, fundamental questions for urban nature conservation remain open: to what extent and where can endangered plant species persist in the long term and which mechanisms underlie population survival? 2. We evaluate the survival of 858 precisely monitored populations of 179 endangered plant species in Berlin, Germany, by assessing population survival throughout different urban ecosystems over a period of 7.6 years on average. By linking population survival to various landscape variables and plant traits, we unravel the underlying drivers. 3. More than one third of populations went extinct during the observation period. Population survival was inversely correlated to the increase of impervious surfaces in the vicinity following the first 11 years after the fall of the Berlin wall. Additionally, populations in semi-natural habitats like forests and bogs were surprisingly more prone to local extinction than populations in anthropogenic habitats. Survival was highest for competitive species with a preference for drier soils (Ellenberg indicator for soil humidity). 4. Synthesis and applications. Considerable levels of local population extinction demonstrate that the presence of endangered plants cannot be directly linked with their long-term survival in cities. However the survival of remaining populations indicates opportunities for urban biodiversity conservation both within and outside conservation areas. The elucidated links between population survival, urbanization dynamics, biotope class, and species traits support urban conservation strategies that reduce the proportion of impervious surface, prioritize conservation management in forests and grasslands and explore the opportunities of green spaces and built up areas.
... Resource cities, especially resource depleted or reduced cities (such as oilfields), are facing enormous challenges to their ecological environment including: abundance industries and oilfields, densification and abandonment, and pollution and built environment legacies [1][2][3][4]. As an important reserved land resource and an ecological crisis bearing area, the area on the urban fringe (especially in resource-rich cities) is in a period of continuous transition, with diversified land use patterns and a fragile ecological environment, which seriously threatens regional ecological security [5][6][7][8]. ...
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As the main bearing area of the ecological crisis in resource-rich cities, it is essential for the urban fringe to enhance regional ecological security during a city’s transformation. This paper takes Daqing City, the largest oilfield in China’s cold land, as an example. Based on remote sensing image data from 1980 to 2017, we use the DPSIR (Driving forces, Pressure, State, Impact, Response) framework and spatial auto-correlation analysis methods to assess and analyze the landscape eco-security change of the study area. From the perspective of time–space, the study area is partitioned, and control strategies are proposed. The results demonstrate that: (1) The landscape eco-security changes are mainly affected by oilfield exploitation and ecological protection policies; the index declined in 1980–2000 and increased in 2000–2017. (2) The landscape eco-security index has obvious spatial clustering characteristics, and the oil field is the main area of warning. (3) The study area determined the protection area of 1692.07 km2, the risk restoration area of 979.64 km2, and proposed partition control strategies. The results are expected to provide new decision-making ideas in order to develop land use management and ecological plans for the management of Daqing and other resource shrinking cities.
... Questa serie di situazioni si sovrappone mano a mano nel tempo e nello spazio urbano e periurbano (Henne, 2005;Westermann et al., 2011;Burkholder, 2012;Rupprecht, Byrne, 2014). Questa wilderness urbana, di cui i boschi cui ci riferiamo sono uno degli elementi principali, è stata oggetto di recenti studi (Mathey et al., 2015;Samuel et al., 2016;McKinney et al., 2018) tesi a sottolinearne l'importanza nel completamento dell'offerta di servizi ecosistemici. La funzione ecologica di questi elementi dell'infrastruttura verde produce un servizio ecosistemico variabile in funzione dei differenti gruppi sociali che ne possono beneficiare e da un individuo all'altro. ...
Article
Many urban fallow lands are undergoing spontaneous plant succession and, over time, woodlands become established. These wild urban woodlands should be adequately recognised by urban planning, due to their potential role in providing ecosystem services, in light of the current challenges of sustainability and resilience to climate and land use change. The case studies here presented show that the ecological values and the ecosystem services of these woodlands are not adequately recognised by urban plans. We suggest a new vision in urban policies, which takes into account the dynamic condition of these ecosystems and the services they provide to cities, and that guides urban planning decisions towards the promotion of wild urban woodlands within the network of urban and peri-urban green spaces.
... Wilderness is increasingly on urban agendas around the globe [32] . The many initiatives toward making cities wilder indicate a growing interest in reconnecting urban societies to the natural world. ...
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Wilderness is a cultural construct that is deeply rooted in many societies. For landscape architects and their predecessors, wilderness has long been important as a contrast to artificial garden elements, as an inspiration for naturalistic plant designs, or today as a timely contribution to reconciling cities and their inhabitants with the natural world. Since cities and wilderness have traditionally been seen as opposites, new approaches are necessary to better address the opportunities and challenges associated with wilderness in urban regions. From an ecological perspective, urban wilderness can be defined as an area characterized by a high degree of self-regulation in ecosystem processes where direct human impact is negligible. This allows two main types of wilderness to be distinguished: “ancient wilderness” represented by natural remnants in many cities, and “novel wilderness,” which arises in artificial urban-industrial sites. The two types require different approaches in designing and managing green spaces. Ancient wilderness is a traditional object of conservation and restoration, and offers inspiration for naturalistic plantings. In contrast, the emergence of novel wilderness has long been associated with neglect and socio-economic decline. Since the 1980s, however, early pioneer projects in Germany have started to integrate novel urban wilderness into the green infrastructure. The results are unprecedented green spaces that combine novel wilderness with design interventions. These places are attractive to visitors, contribute to biodiversity conservation, and support many ecosystem services. This article aims to illustrate the opportunities and challenges of integrating wilderness components and processes into the urban green infrastructure—a timely way to reconnect cities with nature.
... In more recent studies, scholars highlight the socio-ecological significance of a wild urban ecosystem's contributions to sustainable and liveable cities (McKinney et al., 2017). Threlfall and Kendal (Threlfall and Kendal, 2018) stress that wilder urban ecosystems may increase ecological aesthetics, educational opportunities, and health and human benefits through their spatial and temporal diversity, unique composition, and contribution to urban ecosystems. ...
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In urban areas, particulate matter (PM) represents an increasing threat to human health. The ability of plants in parks and along roads in cities to accumulate PM has already been demonstrated, but nothing is known about the effect of wasteland vegetation on air quality, despite a significant proportion of greenery in polluted areas being wastelands. The aim of this study was to document the accumulation of PM and trace elements (TE) by wasteland species (Robinia pseudoacacia L., Populus × canescens (Aiton) Sm., Acer negundo L., Solidago gigantea (Aiton) and Poaceae) growing on Central European urban wastelands with differing levels of air pollution. On average, the largest amounts of PM accumulated on the foliage of R. pseudoacacia and S. gigantea, and the smallest amounts accumulated on P. × canescens leaves. However, accumulation of PM depended more on the distance from the emission source than on species selection, and was higher on the polluted wasteland where the plants' gas exchange was the lowest. The results also suggest that in order to effectively accumulate PM from the air, it is critical to have the correct configuration of plants, with the wasteland vegetation having a layered structure and layers differing in PM retention, as shown in this study using the examples of R. pseudoacacia (a tall tree with low PM retention) and S. gigantea (below-tree vegetation with high PM retention). P. × canescens accumulated the highest concentrations of Cd and Zn, S. gigantea accumulated the highest concentration of Cu, and Poaceae accumulated the highest concentrations of Cr and Ni. These findings have implications for urban vegetation management in areas where there is no organised greenery, and offer proof that vegetation in wasteland areas should be maintained since it is an excellent tool for reducing concentrations of PM at its place of origin.
Article
Manicured urban greenery is the norm in Singapore, but this approach to landscape obstructs the accommodation of ecosystem dynamics, and misses an opportunity to benefit from the region’s tropicality. Based on an understanding of floral succession gleaned from pilot tests and perception studies that identified factors in the preference for wilder landscapes in Singapore, this article proposes intended wildness as a novel approach to designing and managing urban green spaces. More specifically, it advocates a stepwise application of strategies that promote diverse and spontaneous growth of urban green spaces and public acceptance for them. Promoting spontaneous growth through management and maintenance can lead to floral and faunal diversity at nested scales, address social concerns and demands within a compact city, and provide a strong ecological incentive that works in harmony with the region’s characteristics.
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Protected areas become urban protected areas by their location. The International Union for Nature Conservation defines a protected area as: “Clearly defined geographical space, recognized, dedicated and managed through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with its associated ecosystem services and cultural values.” Different papers in this chapter aim to contribute to increase the understanding about the general concept of urban protected areas (Ioja), trade-offs and synergies of cultural ecosystem services of these areas (Badiu et al.), and perceptions and preferences to urban nature (Hayir-Kanat and Breuste). Likewise, contributions are also provided on social aspects of biodiversity (Dushkova et al.), urban land use aspects of biodiversity (Gan and Breuste), and strategies to increase urban biodiversity in urban parks (Borysiak et al.). The case studies cover a wide range of geographical backgrounds, going from Central Europe (Borysiak et al.) to South Eastern Europe (Ioja, Badiu et al.), and including Russia (Dushkova et al.), the biggest European city, i.e. Istanbul (Hayr-Kanat and Breuste), and one of the biggest Asian cities, i.e. Shanghai (Gan and Breuste). This chapter targets to improve the understanding of nature protection and biodiversity in cities under different natural and societal conditions.
Chapter
This chapter explores the current epidemiological and population-level studies on the benefits of nature with regard to distance, proportion, and time spent. It highlights some of the existing issues with ideas of ‘greenspace’, both as a definition and as a typology for maximizing ecological and mental health outcomes, as well as addressing how romantic ideas of ‘unfettered’ or uninhabited wilderness are exclusionary. The concept of wild urban natures is then explored as a way to enhance spatial, ecological, and health outcomes.
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Die Grüne Stadt ist Leitbild und Vision. Das inhaltlich breite Konzept der Grünen Stadt enthält als Kern die Stadtnatur. Im Konzept der Grünen Stadt wird Stadtnatur „konzeptualisiert“.
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memorie collana fondata da Domenico Luciani diretta dal 2015 da Luigi Latini e Monique Mosser 18 Prati urbani City meadows Norbert Kühn, Interagire con la natura urbana. Come la vegetazione spontanea migliora gli spazi verdi postmoderni / Interacting with urban nature. How spontaneous vegetation enhances postmodern greenspaces, estratto da / extract from Prati urbani. I prati collettivi nel paesaggio della città / City meadows. Community fields in urban landscapes, a cura di / edited by Franco Panzini, Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche-Antiga Edizioni, Treviso 2018, pp. 130-158.
Chapter
Wildlands have to be available and provide a tangible experience in cities, not only for biodiversity protection but also for nature experience. They need to support innovation with nature in order to address social, economic and environmental challenges. For that, additional knowledge about different features of the forest, waters and wetlands have to be provided considering local experiences, such as physical and socio-economic context, ecosystem structure and functioning, ecosystem services and disservices, accessibility, social use, existent and perceived risks, maintenance costs, and managing urban-protected areas. Different papers in this chapter aim to contribute to increase the understanding of the wildlands in cities, the main topic being related with ecosystem services provided by urban forest (Antonenko et al.), nature-based solutions applied at city scale (Xu et al.), integration of urban rivers and wetlands in city management (Napieralski, Shirazi et al., Faggi and Breuste) or the challenges of exotic species in urban design (Gavrilidis et al.). The case studies cover a wide range of geographical backgrounds, considering experience from South Asia (Shirazi et al.), China (Xu et al.), South America (Faggi and Breuste), North America (Napieralski), Russia (Antonenko et al.) and Southeastern Europe (Gavrilidis et al.).
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Robinia pseudoacacia L. is an interesting example of how one plant species can be considered invasive or useful depending on its environment. In the past this tree species was planted for decorative purposes and for wood in Poland. For many years it was recommended in poor and degraded habitats because it facilitated late-successional plant species. The aim of this study was to verify if black locust can still be regarded as a resistant tree species in urban greenery. The health condition of old tree specimens growing along streets and in parks was compared. The occurrence of pests and pathogens on R . pseudoacacia trees was assessed and the content of mineral elements in leaves was examined. The research results showed that the health of black locust trees growing in the urban environment in Polish cities, especially along streets (in comparison to park sites), deteriorated significantly due to the interaction of harmful biotic and abiotic factors. Increased level of toxic metals (Fe, Zn, Pb, Mn and Cd) in plant tissues and the accumulation of pests and pathogens negatively influenced the health of R . pseudoacacia .
Article
Urban greening is a buzz term in urban policy and research settings in Australia and elsewhere. In a context of settler colonial urbanism, like Australia, a first fact becomes clear: urban greening is always being practiced on unceded Indigenous lands. Recognising this requires some honest reckoning with how this latest urban policy response perpetuates dispossessory settler-colonial structures. In this paper, we listen to the place-based ontologies of the peoples and lands from where we write to inform understanding the city as an always already Indigenous place – a sovereign Aboriginal City. In so doing, the paper tries to practice a way of creating more truthful and response-able urban knowledge practices. We analyse three distinct areas of scholarly research that are present in the contemporary literature: urban greening and green infrastructure; urban political ecology; and more-than-human cities. When placed in relationship of learning with the sovereign Aboriginal City, our analysis finds that these scholarly domains of urban greening work to re-organise colonial power relations. The paper considers what work the practice and scholarship of ‘urban greening’ might need to do in order to become response-able and learn to learn with Indigenous sovereignties and ontologies.
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Cemeteries are globally culturally protected greenspaces in cities that meet different societal needs and often harbor high biodiversity. To harness the potential of cemeteries as urban green infrastructure, stakeholders need to understand why people visit cemeteries and their preferences. We conducted an online survey in Berlin, Germany (n = 627) to understand (i) the reasons for cemetery visits; (ii) preferences for cemetery features; (iii) the effect of a dead tree as a wilderness component on preferences for differently managed green areas (wild, meadows, lawns); (iv) preferences of nature elements as comforting experiences; and (v) how reasons for the visit and sociodemographic variables relate to respondents’ preferences. The major reasons to visit cemeteries were ‘enjoying nature’, ‘mourning’, and ‘historical interest’ and most preferred cemetery features were ‘wildlife‘, ‘solitude’, and ‘vegetation‘. Presenting a dead tree did not modulate preference ratings for green areas that were depicted on photographs. Comforting experiences with nature elements were high overall. The reasons to visit had besides socio-demographic variables predictive potential on pronounced preferences. The results underscore the importance of cemeteries as multidimensional places and indicate tolerance for the inclusion of dead trees as important wildlife habitat. Strategies to develop cemeteries as shared habitats for people and nature should also consider, besides socio-demographic background, the reasons for cemetery visits.
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While cities are invasion hotspots, the view of urban residents on non-native species is critically understudied and important knowledge gap since strategies on biological invasions could gain power by integrating human values, attitudes and perceptions. How citizens perceive the non-native tree Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven) is unknown despite its abundance in many cities globally and its classification as invasive in many countries. In a quantitative survey with closed questions, we analysed (i) whether residents of Berlin, Germany knew the widespread species, (ii) how they perceived it in different urban situations , (iii) how they accepted different management strategies of it, and (iv) how the sociodemographic background of respondents predicted their preference and acceptability ratings. In total, we surveyed 196 respondents. Most respondents recognized the tree in a photograph, but few provided its correct name. Citizens' preferences differed significantly among four urban contexts in which the species was shown, with prevailing approval for trees as a component of designed green spaces and less pronounced preferences for wild-grown trees in other urban spaces. When respondents were asked to indicate how the tree should be managed (three options), we found the most support for removal in problematic cases ('adaptive on-site' strategy); some support was found for the 'leave alone' strategy and least support for the 'complete removal' management strategy. Practitioners with expertise in urban landscaping were more critical of Ailanthus than laypeople. Ordinal logistic regression analyses showed that respondents with a 'close to nature' behaviour and attitude had a more positive view on Ailanthus and expressed more support for 'leave alone' management. Results demonstrate the importance of citizens' context dependent views about a widespread invasive species, spanning from approval to disapproval in different situations. We conclude that urban management strategies concerning Ailanthus would gain support from citizens when combining multiple approaches: (i) to control the species in case of realized negative impacts; (ii) to prevent the invasion of the species in areas of conservation concern; and (iii) to develop novel approaches of integrating wild Ailanthus trees into urban green spaces. These insights could support management measures that need to be established due to the EU-Regulation on Invasive Alien Species.
Article
Vegetation plays a fundamental role in conserving the biological diversity of urban areas. From isolated trees to multi-hectare patches, green spaces are critical to species conservation in urban landscapes. The abundance of green spaces can regulate the availability of habitat and resources for species’ survival. In many urban areas, the lack of vegetation inventories and ecological information at fine spatial resolutions limits conservation efforts. To evaluate the potential of very high-resolution imagery (WorldView-2, 30-cm resolution) to fill this gap, we sought to a) map contrasting urban vegetation cover types (grass, shrubs and woody vegetation) at the meter scale and with high accuracy, b) quantify the structural and functional connectivity of urban vegetation, and c) estimate the status of productive vegetation. We focused our analysis on land use and cover in the city of Xalapa in Veracruz, Mexico, and employed multiscale satellite imagery to estimate vegetation cover, connectivity, and health. We identified 38,579 patches of woody vegetation, of which 93% corresponded to isolated trees contributing to 27% of vegetation connectivity. Without woody vegetation, the connectivity index would be up to 97%; removing grass or shrubs would reduce connectivity by 38% or 32%, respectively. We identified 10 patches disproportionately important to connectivity, of which seven had some type of legal protection. Across vegetation types, 38% of the vegetated area was unhealthy. Wooded element connectivity assessment at a fine spatial resolution is crucial to conserve and restore these key resources for biodiversity and human well-being in urban environments.
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In the context of contemporary climate and environmental change, both natural and social scientists have stressed the role urban green spaces play in global warming adaptation strategies. Indeed, in recent years these spaces have become central to institutional political debates and various policies have been designed for their valorization. However, little attention has been paid to rewilded urban spaces, recently defined as novel urban ecosystems, and to their socio-ecological complexity. By adopting an interdisciplinary approach that links natural and social science perspectives, this article aims to highlight the role of novel urban ecosystems in the reconfiguration of urban policies. Indeed, this contribution analyzes ecosystem services coupled with the hybrid, contested socio-ecological nature of four case studies in Italy characterized by grassroots socio-environmental mobilization. Data were collected through comparative quantitative and qualitative methods. The findings show that the specific ecological features of novel urban ecosystems are strategic in terms of actual and potential ecosystem service provision for cities and suggests that citizens play a fundamental role in recognizing and valorizing them. In parallel, these spaces, reconceptualized as contested novel ecosystems, emerge as controversial hybrid urban socio-natures that enable community empowerment and produce a heterogeneous, grassroots political space oriented towards urban commons and environmental and climate justice.
Article
This study aims to determine and analyze the factors that are associated with urban resilience and sustainability for the slum inhabitants of Islamabad, Pakistan. This study will adopt a quantitative design to study the significance of factors that affect urban resilience and sustainability in Islamabad's slums, Pakistan. The research method in this study will be a survey questionnaire that was filled by 365 respondents using simple random sampling techniques. To conduct structural equation modeling (SEM), this study will use SmartPLS 3.0 through which all the important results will be gathered that include convergent validity, reliability, factor loading, composite reliability, discriminant validity, R square, and path coefficients. The findings show that the factors that significantly influence urban resilience are geographic size (B = 0.395; p-value = 0.000 < 0.01), preparedness and foresight (B = 0.144; p-value = 0.019 < 0.05), and resource and financing (B = 0.213; p-value = 0.000 < 0.01). In addition, the results highlight that geographic size (B = 0.232; p-value = 0.000 < 0.01) and resource and financing (B = 0.096; p-value = 0.097 < 0.1) are significant to urban sustainability for the slum inhabitants in Islamabad, Pakistan. This study is limited to the geographical bounds of Islamabad, Pakistan, and specifically the slums. Therefore, it could be improved in the future by considering other cities in Pakistan, such as Karachi or conducting a comparative analysis between cities. This study considered a limited number of factors; therefore, further research could explore additional factors that affect urban resilience and urban sustainability.
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En la ciudad de Palma (Mallorca), el antiguo cuartel militar de Son Busquets, levantado en el año 1949 y ocupando en ese momento una situación rururbana y desvinculada del continuo construido, se interpreta en la presente comunicación como una oportunidad para la planificación y el desarrollo urbanístico de unos barrios –el Camp Redó y Cas Capiscol– densamente edificados y con problemas de degradación física y social. El cuartel fue abandonado en el año 2000 y ha sido calificado como el último gran vacío urbano de la ciudad. Es evidente su potencial como espacio para albergar nuevos equipamientos públicos, zonas verdes y viviendas de protección oficial, y por tanto su potencial como nuevo polo urbano de atracción, que contribuiría a convertir Palma en una ciudad más policéntrica. Para ello, Son Busquets puede jugar un interesante papel adicional en el proceso de planificación de un nuevo eje cívico peatonal –Cotlliure– que sirva para regenerar la barriada y conectarla eficazmente con el centro histórico. En un barrio colmatado como el del Camp Redó, Son Busquets también se erige como solución a las necesidades de nuevas zonas verdes y en definitiva de más espacio libre público y de calidad. También se posiciona como espacio en el que actuar creativamente por medio de la participación vecinal directa, recuperando así la idea del derecho a la ciudad y de reconquista ciudadana de la calle.
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La ricerca adotta un metodo interdisciplinare, integrando categorie e metodi delle scienze naturali e sociali, e si focalizza sull’analisi comparata di due ex aree militari italiane (Piazza D’Armi a Milano e Prati di Caprara a Bologna) interessate da significativi processi di rinaturalizzazione spontanea a seguito dell’abbandono delle loro funzioni originarie. La selezione di questi due specifici casi è derivata dalla presenza di movimenti socio-ambientali di cittadini che hanno riconosciuto il valore di bene comune di queste aree e il ruolo fondamentale che queste possono svolgere nel contrasto alla crisi ecologica e climatica, innescando un dibattito pubblico e una revisione delle scelte urbanistiche che li riguardavano.
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The impact of demilitarization since 1990s on urban planning in Bulgaria was evident more than a decade later when the first initiatives for redevelopment of some strategically located large military plots were introduced. Though some of the implementations that followed gained the attention of the planners because of their scale, scope, significance or identity, the focus has been on the future development of the plots rather than on the process of their transformation. In an attempt to provide a more holistic view the paper presents the redevelopment as a process in time and in the particular social and economic context. The integration of former military sites into the existing urban structures is examined through analysis of two case studies in the two largest and economically vibrant cities in Bulgaria. As a result of the comparative study the similar characteristics of the sites and of the processes for their conversion have been outlined and the major factors that facilitate and hinder the process of redevelopment are presented. It is argues that these developments bear the potential of focused urban interventions that could impact the overall city development and present significant opportunities for the cities to become more attractive and competitive.
Chapter
The Green City is a guiding principle and a vision. The broad concept of the Green City contains urban nature as its core. In the Green City concept, urban nature is “conceptualised”. It is linked in parts or as a whole with development goals and prepared for planning; all this in order to achieve better living conditions for the city’s inhabitants. In this conceptual mosaic of action goals for the Green City, a national policy in Germany has only been discernible since the 2017 White Paper on Urban Greening by the Federal Ministry for the Environment. Already the garden city movement gives urban nature a first face at the beginning of the twentieth century with the concepts of “light, air and sun”, which should be granted to all. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, new fields of action are being developed for this purpose, because the problem situations (for example, population density, climate change, lack of open space) have become more acute. Systemic and networked thinking is giving rise to the concept of “green infrastructure” and making it the subject of planning and design action. High expectations are placed on the now recognised capacity of urban nature to benefit city dwellers, often too high (for example, reduction of air pollution). Biodiversity is becoming the focus of many considerations and objectives, and is even taking on a conceptual character in cities. Urban biodiversity, contrary to popular perception, is not just the diversity of species and can be consciously designed to benefit people in the city. The exclusively ethical perspective of protecting rare native species from humans is no longer the general way of looking at urban biodiversity. This also requires new paradigms.
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Il libro raccoglie 70 contributi derivanti da una riflessione a posteriori rispetto alla conferenza “Rigenerare le aree militari dismesse. Prospettive, dibattiti e riconversioni in Italia, Spagna e in contesti internazionali” che ha avuto luogo presso l’Università Iuav di Venezia (23-24 settembre 2021) a cura di Federico Camerin e Francesco Gastaldi in cui si è proposta una riflessione aperta al mondo accademico, istituzionale e professionale sulla questione degli insediamenti militari dismessi in ambito nazionale e internazionale. Le questioni che si sono evidenziate coinvolgono le amministrazioni interessate (Ministero della difesa, dei beni culturali, dell’economia e delle finanze, Agenzia del demanio, enti pubblici e territoriali in Spagna e all’estero). I testi, suddivisi in cinque sezioni, propongono un approccio multidisciplinare al tema per favorire un dialogo costruttivo e virtuoso sulle questioni di riuso di aree e immobili in termini normativi, approcci partecipativi e implicazioni economico-procedurali, progetti su immobili con elevato valore storico-artistico.
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Changes to natural environments as a consequence of human population growth are a major threat to biodiversity. Natural habitat modifications, changes in vegetation structure and habitat characteristics have resulted in decreased species richness and functional diversity in wildlife populations. Species’ distributions, abundance and persistence are generally reliant on habitat suitability, landscape configuration and ability to disperse and colonise habitats. We aimed to determine the influence of vegetation structure, patch size and isolation distance on avian communities in Southern Mistbelt Forests in the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape, South Africa, across a variety of forest patches during the breeding and non-breeding seasons. We conducted fixed-radius point-count surveys to determine avian species richness and functional diversity, and quantified the vegetation foliage profile in 54 distinct forest patches across three study areas. Multivariate analyses showed significant differences in vegetation structure among forest patches and subsequent variation in avian species richness and functional diversity across the study areas during the non-breeding season. Avian beta diversity was significantly driven by the reduction in forest patch size and habitat structural complexity. Reduction in forest size and complexity reduced avian species richness and functional diversity. Increasing isolation distance negatively influenced avian diversity. We recommend further improving the regulatory standards concerning sustainable utilisation of forest resources that subsequently change forest characteristics to promote a healthy and diverse habitat structure and safeguard avian communities.
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This interdisciplinary dissertation investigates the anthropogenic drivers potentially impacting urban pollinator health at the neighborhood and residential parcel scale. It explores socio-cultural influences as drivers contributing to the vegetation distinctiveness of two study sites and the species within them. The objectives of this dissertation are to: 1) assess quantitatively the fine-scale vegetation patterns in residential front yards of two study sites to develop an understanding of land use, decision-making, and management practices to inform research interventions for urban pollinator health and conservation; 2) using naturalistic inquiry, investigate the social and cultural dimensions that influence the residential land use and decision-making practices of the study sites; and 3) assess qualitatively and quantitatively the relationships between front yard vegetation design and management and the socio-cultural drivers influencing land-use and decision-making practices for pollinator habitat.
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Cities play important roles in the conservation of global biodiversity, particularly through the planning and management of urban green spaces (UGS). However, UGS management is subject to a complex assortment of interacting social, cultural, and economic factors, including governance, economics, social networks, multiple stakeholders, individual preferences, and social constraints. To help deliver more effective conservation outcomes in cities, we identify major challenges to managing biodiversity in UGS and important topics warranting further investigation. Biodiversity within UGS must be managed at multiple scales while accounting for various socioeconomic and cultural influences. Although the environmental consequences of management activities to enhance urban biodiversity are now beginning to be addressed, additional research and practical management strategies must be developed to balance human needs and perceptions while maintaining ecological processes.
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Urban environments are in continual transition. Yet, as many cities continue to grow and develop in ways deemed typical or standard, these transitions can be difficult to acknowledge. Narratives of continued growth and permanence become accepted and expected while the understanding of urban dynamics becomes lost. In many parts of the world, the shrinking cities phenomenon has given rise to a new awareness of urban transition that provides a laboratory of new conditions at the intersection of urbanism and ecology. With property vacancy rates easily exceeding 50% in certain locations, cities in the American Rust Belt look more like successional woodlands than bustling metropolises, yet these cities still contain significant numbers of urban residents. A central question that arises from this phenomenon is: how can vacant land, through the provision of ecosystem services, become a resource as opposed to a liability? This paper looks to recent studies in urban ecology as a lens for understanding the land use potential of shrinking cities, while discussing unconventional solutions for sustainable development of urban land.
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Humans, unlike any other multicellular species in Earth’s history, have emerged as a global force that is transforming the ecology of an entire planet. It is no longer possible to understand, predict, or successfully manage ecological pattern, process or change without understanding why and how humans reshape these over the long-term. Here, a general causal theory is presented to explain why human societies gained the capacity to globally alter the patterns, processes and dynamics of ecology and how these anthropogenic alterations unfold over time and space as societies themselves change over human generational time. Building on existing theories of ecosystem engineering, niche construction, inclusive inheritance, cultural evolution, ultrasociality, and social change, this theory of anthroecological change holds that sociocultural evolution of subsistence regimes based on ecosystem engineering, social specialization and nonkin exchange, or “sociocultural niche construction”, is the main cause of both the long-term upscaling of human societies and their unprecedented transformation of the biosphere. Human sociocultural niche construction can explain, where classic ecological theory cannot, the sustained transformative effects of human societies on biogeography, ecological succession, ecosystem processes, and the ecological patterns and processes of landscapes, biomes and the biosphere. Anthroecology theory generates empirically testable hypotheses on the forms and trajectories of long-term anthropogenic ecological change that have significant theoretical and practical implications across the subdisciplines of ecology and conservation. Though still at an early stage of development, anthroecology theory aligns with and integrates established theoretical frameworks including social-ecological systems, social metabolism, countryside biogeography, novel ecosystems and anthromes. The "fluxes of nature" are fast becoming "cultures of nature". To investigate, understand, and address the ultimate causes of anthropogenic ecological change, not just the consequences, human sociocultural processes must become as much a part of ecological theory and practice as biological and geophysical processes are now. Strategies for achieving this goal and for advancing ecological science and conservation in an increasingly anthropogenic biosphere are presented.
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The outstanding social and ecological roles of urban forests in the growth of cities has become widely known. In many parts of the world, despite or even because of continuing suburbanization, initiatives are being put forth to preserve urban forests, to develop them further and to make them acc- sible to the public. This volume focuses on a particular component of the urban forest - trix – urban wild woodlands. We understand these to be stands of woody plants, within the impact area of cities, whose form is characterized by trees and in which a large leeway for natural processes makes possible a convergence toward wilderness. The wilderness character of these urban woodlands can vary greatly. We differentiate between two kinds of w- derness. The “old wilderness” is the traditional one; it may return slowly to woodland areas when forestry use has been abandoned. The enhancement of wilderness is a task already demanded of urban and peri-urban forestry in many places. This book would like to direct the attention of the reader to a second kind of wilderness, which we call “new wilderness.” This arises on heavily altered urban-industrial areas where abandonment of use makes such change possible. The wild nature of urban abandoned areas was discovered in the 1970s through urban-ecological research. Since then, in a very short time, profound structural changes in industrial countries have led to h- dreds or thousands of hectares in urbanized areas becoming available for natural colonization processes.
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Informal urban green-space (IGS) such as vacant lots, brownfields and street or railway verges is receiving growing attention from urban scholars. Research has shown IGS can provide recreational space for residents and habitat for flora and fauna, yet we know little about the quantity, spatial distribution, vegetation structure or accessibility of IGS. We also lack a commonly accepted definition of IGS and a method that can be used for its rapid quantitative assessment. This paper advances a definition and typology of IGS that has potential for global application. Based on this definition, IGS land use percentage in central Brisbane, Australia and Sapporo, Japan was systematically surveyed in a 10×10 km grid containing 121 sampling sites of 2,500 m2 per city, drawing on data recorded in the field and aerial photography. Spatial distribution, vegetation structure and accessibility of IGS were also analyzed. We found approximately 6.3% of the surveyed urban area in Brisbane and 4.8% in Sapporo consisted of IGS, a non-significant difference. The street verge IGS type (80.4% of all IGS) dominated in Brisbane, while lots (42.2%) and gaps (19.2%) were the two largest IGS types in Sapporo. IGS was widely distributed throughout both survey areas. Vegetation structure showed higher tree cover in Brisbane, but higher herb cover in Sapporo. In both cities over 80% of IGS was accessible or partly accessible. The amount of IGS we found suggests it could play a more important role than previously assumed for residents' recreation and nature experience as well as for fauna and flora, because it substantially increased the amount of potentially available greenspace in addition to parks and conservation greenspace. We argue that IGS has potential for recreation and conservation, but poses some challenges to urban planning. To address these challenges, we propose some directions for future research.
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This paper explores the origins and development of ambivalent responses to particular contemporary urban landscapes in historical ideas about human relationships with nature and wilderness, and suggests that post-modern wilderness may be found in the urban interstices: in woodland, abandoned allotments, river corridors, derelict or brownfield sites and especially areas in which the spontaneous growth of vegetation through natural succession suggests that nature is in control. We propose that these interstitial wilderness landscapes have numerous important functions as well as being rich repositories of meaning with implications both for theorizing nature–human relationships and for urban landscape planning and design.
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Previous studies on various scales and for various European regions and North America have shown that cities harbour more plant species than the surrounding landscape. It has been argued that the greater number of plant species is usually caused by a high number of alien plants promoted by human influence. We analysed native and naturalized vascular plant species distribution data from a comprehensive German database comparing city and non-city grid cells of 10 minutes latitude × 6 minutes longitude (c. 130 km 2 ). The number of city grid cells (n = 68) and non-city grid cells (n = 1856) differed by two orders of magnitude and species richness was highly autocorrelated. We therefore used resampling techniques. We resampled the species richness of 68 randomly selected grid cells 9999 times. This showed that not only naturalized alien but also native plant species richness was significantly higher in city grid cells. To relate environmental variables to species richness, we used 10,000 analyses of covariance of 68 city grid cells and 68 randomly selected non-city grid cells. We demonstrated that a large proportion of the higher native plant species richness could be explained by the number of geological types per grid cell (i.e. a measure of natural geological diversity). Additionally, we showed by resampling the number of geological types per grid cell that cities are not randomly distributed but are in fact in areas of high geological diversity. Hence, we conclude that city areas are preferentially located in pre-existing biodiversity hotspots and argue that they are species rich not because of but in spite of urbanization.
Article
The concept of urban wilderness feels like a paradox since natural and urban environments have long been viewed as antithetical. Today, however, wilderness is high on the urban agenda as a response to different challenges: biodiversity and human experiences of nature are being lost in increasingly dense cities, while at the same time a plethora of wild areas are developing in cities that are undergoing post-industrial transformation. Yet there is confusion around the definitions and the anticipated functions of urban wilderness and how humans can be incorporated therein. A unifying framework is proposed here that envisions urban wilderness as a social-ecological system; three major components are identified and linked: (i) the supply of wilderness areas along gradients of naturalness and ecological novelty, leading to a differentiation of ancient vs. novel wilderness, and the identification of wilderness components within cultural ecosystems; (ii) the demand for wilderness in urban societies, which differs among sociocultural groups as a function of underlying values and experiences; (iii) the access to urban wilderness, which can be improved both in terms of providing opportunities for encountering urban wilderness (e.g., by conserving, rewilding wilderness areas) and enhancing the orientation of urban people towards wilderness (e.g., through information, environmental education, citizen science). Evidence from urban wilderness projects in Europe demonstrates that multi-targeted approaches to conserving and managing existing novel urban ecosystems offer manifold opportunities to combine biodiversity conservation and wilderness experience in cities.
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There is global interest in increasing the complexity of urban ecosystems to benefit both people and nature in cities. However, to successfully plan for and manage more complex landscapes greater attention is needed on understanding the complementary role of different types of green spaces in cities. Wild spaces occur in many forms across the landscape. In this paper, we discuss the different social and ecological roles that wild urban spaces play in our cities, and how they vary across space and time. We then assess the role and benefits of wild urban spaces in relation to other types of green space. Wild spaces are spatially and temporally diverse, and can act as refuges when other green spaces are not available. Many important differences exist in the composition, structure and management of wild spaces in comparison with other kinds of green space that drive their unique contribution to urban ecosystems. This discussion paper highlights these differences, and brings together knowledge of the role of wild spaces in urban landscapes from a multidisciplinary perspective.
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Vacant land, a product of population and economic decline resulting in abandonment of infrastructure, has increased substantially in shrinking cities around the world. In Cleveland, Ohio, vacant lots are minimally managed, concentrated within low-income neighborhoods, and support a large proportion of the city’s urban forest. We quantified abundance, richness, diversity, and size class of native and exotic tree species on inner-city vacant lots, inner-city residential lots, and suburban residential lots, and used i-Tree Eco to model the quantity and economic value of regulating ecosystem services provided by their respective forest assemblages. Inner-city vacant lots supported three times as many trees, more exotic than native trees, and greater tree diversity than inner-city and suburban residential lots, with the plurality of trees being naturally-regenerated saplings. The urban forest on inner-city vacant lots also had two times as much leaf area and leaf biomass, and more tree canopy cover. The quantity and monetary value of ecosystem services provided by the urban forest was greatest on inner-city vacant lots, with exotic species contributing most of that value, while native taxa provided more monetary value on residential lots. The predominately naturally-regenerated, minimally managed exotic species on vacant land provide valuable ecosystem services to inner-city neighborhoods of Cleveland, OH.
Article
Among the different urban green spaces, wastelands are valuable spaces for conserving urban biodiversity. By hosting wild and spontaneous vegetation, wastelands can promote the contact citizens have with nature. However, lack of regular management can lead to negative perceptions. In this study we assessed perceptions, valuations and uses of wastelands by residents in two cities in the centre of France. We tested whether preferences for wastelands depended on where wastelands were located in the city, plant community characteristics or resident characteristics. The study investigated 18 wastelands, in three successional stages (initial grassland, intermediate grassland and shrubbery stages) and located in three categories of distance from the city centre (downtown, suburban, periurban). Vegetation was sampled in each wasteland and several plant community metrics were calculated. A total of 72 residents (4 per wasteland) living in the vicinity of the wastelands were interviewed about their use, valuations and perceptions of wastelands. Based on qualitative and quantitative analyses, the results highlighted that a significant proportion of residents (36%) conducted various activities in wastelands and that perceptions and valuations of wastelands were diverse, ranging from either negative (when wastelands were perceived as wild or abandoned areas) or positive (when wastelands were considered as natural and recreational). Valuations strongly depended on the successional stage, with intermediate grassland-like wastelands being preferred. We found no effect of wasteland location in the city, whereas resident characteristics (age and gender) marginally influenced valuations. This study provides new insights into the determinants of perception and valuations of urban wastelands. Particularly, we suggest that intermediate grassland-like wastelands could be easily integrated into urban planning both for recreational activities and conserving biodiversity. Alternatively, awareness of the value of initial grassland-like and shrubbery wastelands should be raised to improve their acceptability.
Article
Urban green infrastructure provides a number of cultural ecosystem services that are greatly appreciated by the public. In order to benefit from these services, actual contact with the respective ecosystem is often required. Furthermore, the type of services offered depend on the physical characteristics of the ecosystem. We conducted a review of publications dealing with demand or social factors such as user needs, preferences and values as well as spatially explicit supply or physical factors such as amount of green space, (bio)diversity, recreational infrastructure, etc. and linking demand and supply factors together. The aim was to provide an overview of this highly interdisciplinary research, to describe how these linkages are being made and to identify which factors significantly influence dependent variables such as levels of use, activities or health and well-being benefits. Commonly used methods were the combination of questionnaires with either on-site visual recording of elements or GIS data. Links between social and physical data were usually established either by using statistical tools or by overlaying different thematic maps. Compared to the large number of variables assessed in most studies, the significant effects in the end were relatively few, not consistent across the studies and largely dependent on the context they were seen in. Studies focused on aesthetic and recreational services, while spiritual, educational and inspirational services were not considered when creating links to spatially explicit ecological structures. We conclude that an improvement and harmonization of methodologies, cross-country studies and an expansion of this line of research to a wider range of services and more user groups could help clarify relationships and thereby increase applicability for urban management and planning.
Article
Urban brownfields are found in all parts of the world. They suffer from a negative image, generally being viewed as problem areas. However, urban brownfields also offer potentials for new uses as well as for the ecological regeneration of cities. Especially urban brownfields with spontaneous vegetation can contribute to biodiversity and ecosystem services in dense urban environments. Whether and how this potential is exploited depends on the perception and preferred uses of brownfields by local residents.
Article
Increasingly, people are becoming less likely to have direct contact with nature (natural environments and their associated wildlife) in their everyday lives. Over 20 years ago, Robert M Pyle termed this ongoing alienation the “extinction of experience”, but the phenomenon has continued to receive surprisingly limited attention. Here, we present current understanding of the extinction of experience, with particular emphasis on its causes and consequences, and suggest future research directions. Our review illustrates that the loss of interaction with nature not only diminishes a wide range of benefits relating to health and well-being, but also discourages positive emotions, attitudes, and behavior with regard to the environment, implying a cycle of disaffection toward nature. Such serious implications highlight the importance of reconnecting people with nature, as well as focusing research and public policy on addressing and improving awareness of the extinction of experience.
Book
Nineteenth-century landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted described his most famous project, the design of New York's Central Park, as "a democratic development of highest significance." Over the years, the significance of green in civic life has grown. In twenty-first-century America, not only open space but also other issues of sustainability-such as potable water and carbon footprints-have become crucial elements in the quality of life in the city and surrounding environment. Confronted by a U.S. population that is more than 70 percent urban, growing concern about global warming, rising energy prices, and unabated globalization, today's decision makers must find ways to bring urban life into balance with the Earth in order to sustain the natural, economic, and political environment of the modern city. In Growing Greener Cities, a collection of essays on urban sustainability and environmental issues edited by Eugenie L. Birch and Susan M. Wachter, scholars and practitioners alike promote activities that recognize and conserve nature's ability to sustain urban life. These essays demonstrate how partnerships across professional organizations, businesses, advocacy groups, governments, and individuals themselves can bring green solutions to cities from London to Seattle. Beyond park and recreational spaces, initiatives that fall under the green umbrella range from public transit and infrastructure improvement to aquifer protection and urban agriculture. Growing Greener Cities offers an overview of the urban green movement, case studies in effective policy implementation, and tools for measuring and managing success. Thoroughly illustrated with color graphs, maps, and photographs, Growing Greener Cities provides a panoramic view of urban sustainability and environmental issues for green-minded city planners, policy makers, and citizens. Copyright
Article
Research on values for natural areas has largely focussed on theoretical concerns such as distinguishing different kinds of values held by people. However practice, policymaking, planning and management is typically focused on more tangible valued attributes of the landscape such as biodiversity and recreation infrastructure that can be manipulated by management actions. There is a need for valid psychometric measures of such values that are suited to informing land management policies. A Valued Attributes of Landscape Scale (VALS) was developed, derived from a document analysis of values expressed in public land policy documents. The validity of the VALS was tested in an online survey comparing values across one of three randomly presented landscape contexts in Victoria, Australia: all publicly managed natural land, coastal areas, and large urban parks. A purposive snowball sample was used to recruit participants with a range of views and professional experience with land management, including members of the urban public. Factor analysis of responses (n = 646) separated concepts relating to natural attributes, social functions, the experience of being in natural areas, cultural attributes and productive uses. Relative importance of valued attribute factors was similar across all landscape contexts, although there were small but significant differences in the way people valued social functions (higher in urban parks) and productive uses (lower in urban parks). We conclude that the concept of valued attributes is useful for linking theoretical understandings of people's environmental values to the way values are considered by land managers, and that these attributes can be measured using the VALS instrument to produce data that should be useful for the policy and planning of natural resources. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Article
Wastelands are a characteristic feature of many urban and industrial landscapes. Although the term wasteland has become widely subsumed within various utilitarian discourses concerning the redevelopment of ostensibly empty or unproductive spaces, the idea encompasses a multiplicity of meanings, material origins, and ecological characteristics. This article considers these anomalous spaces of urban nature as an interdisciplinary terrain that extends from renewed interest in urban biodiversity to alternative conceptions of landscape authenticity. It is suggested that a more theoretically nuanced and historically grounded conception of the intersections between critical cultural discourses and recent advances in urban ecology might provide a useful counterpoint to narrowly utilitarian approaches to urban nature.
Article
Urban forestry is generally defined as the art, science and technology of managing trees and forest resources in and around urban community ecosystems for the physiological, sociological, economic, and aesthetic benefits trees provide society. First mentioned in the United States as early as in 1894, the concept underwent a revival during the 1960s as a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach to the specific challenges related to growing trees in urban environments. Later, urban forestry evoked the interest of scientists and practitioners in other parts of the world. However, harmonization of urban forestry terminology has been complicated by, for example, the involvement of different disciplines and translation difficulties. In many European languages, for example, the direct translation of ‘urban forestry’ relates more to forest ecosystems than to street and park trees. Efforts in North America and Europe defining ‘urban forest’, ‘urban forestry’ and related terms are introduced. A comparative analysis of selected urban forestry terminology in both parts of the world shows that urban forestry has a longer history in North America, based on traditions of shade tree management. Moreover, urban forestry has become more institutionalized in North America. Urban forestry in Europe has built strongly on a century-long tradition of ‘town forestry’. In both parts of the world, definitions of urban forestry and urban forest have become more comprehensive, including all tree stands and individual trees in and around urban areas. Agreement also exists on the multifunctional and multidisciplinary character of urban forestry. These similarities offer opportunities for international harmonization of terminology.
Other order: sound walk for an urban wild
  • P Del Tredici
  • T Rueb
Del Tredici, P., Rueb, T., 2017. Other order: sound walk for an urban wild. Arnoldia 75, 14-25.
Knoxville's Urban Wilderness: beyond recreation to management and conservation
  • E Zefferman
  • M L Mckinney
  • T Cianciolo
  • B Fritz
Zefferman, E., McKinney, M.L., Cianciolo, T., Fritz, B., 2017. Knoxville's Urban Wilderness: beyond recreation to management and conservation. Urban For. Urban Green.