Elizabeth M. Cook's research while affiliated with City College of New York and other places

Publications (52)

Article
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As rates of urbanization and climatic change soar, decision-makers are increasingly challenged to provide innovative solutions that simultaneously address climate-change impacts and risks and inclusively ensure quality of life for urban residents. Cities have turned to nature-based solutions to help address these challenges. Nature-based solutions,...
Article
Afforestation projects are a growing focus of urban restoration efforts to rehabilitate degraded landscapes and develop new forests. Urban forests provide myriad valuable ecosystem services essential for urban sustainability and resilience. These essential services are supported by natural soil microbial processes that transform organic matter to c...
Article
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The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated how the accessibility of greenspace can shift in response to social-ecological disturbance, and generated questions as to how changing dimensions of accessibility affect the ecosystem services of greenspace, such as improved subjective well-being. Amidst the growing consensus of the important role of greenspac...
Article
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Urban resilience has gained considerable popularity in planning and policy to address cities’ capacity to cope with climate change. While many studies discuss the different ways that academics define resilience, little attention has been given to how resilience is conceptualized across different urban contexts and among the actors that engage in bu...
Technical Report
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This Scenario Planning Guide outlines how the Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network (UREx SRN) supports ongoing efforts in its nine network cities in conducting participatory workshops. The Scenarios Working Group team, together with students, researchers, and collaborators across the network, have synthesized the co-produced...
Article
There is great interest in the ability of afforestation programs to sequester carbon, improve soil health, and provide other ecological benefits to urban areas. However, the capacity of urban soils to support successful afforestation and sequester carbon is poorly understood. This study quantified soil carbon in a series of experimental restoration...
Article
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Ecosystems across the United States are changing in complex and surprising ways. Ongoing demand for critical ecosystem services requires an understanding of the populations and communities in these ecosystems in the future. This paper represents a synthesis effort of the U.S. National Science Foundation‐funded Long‐Term Ecological Research (LTER) n...
Book
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This open access book addresses the way in which urban and urbanizing regions profoundly impact and are impacted by climate change. The editors and authors show why cities must wage simultaneous battles to curb global climate change trends while adapting and transforming to address local climate impacts. This book addresses how cities develop antic...
Chapter
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We describe the rationale and framework for developing scenarios of positive urban futures. The scenario framework is conducted in participatory workshop settings and composed of three distinct scenario approaches that are used to (1) explore potential outcomes of existing planning goals (strategic scenarios), (2) articulate visions that address pr...
Chapter
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Anticipatory thinking is a critical component in urban planning practices and knowledge systems in an era of unpredictability and conflicting expectations of the future. This chapter introduces “anticipatory resilience” as a futures-oriented knowledge system that intentionally addresses uncertain climate conditions and explores alternative, desirab...
Chapter
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A fundamental systems approach is essential to advancing our understanding of how to address critical challenges caused by the intersection of urbanization and climate change. The social–ecological–technological systems (SETS) conceptual framework brings forward a systems perspective that considers the reality of cities as complex systems and provi...
Chapter
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In the absence of strong international agreements, many municipal governments are leading efforts to build resilience to climate change in general and to extreme weather eventsExtreme weather events in particular. However, it is notoriously difficult to guide and activate processes of change in complex adaptiveAdaptive systems such as cities. Parti...
Chapter
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Participatory scenario visioning aims to expose, integrate, and reconcile perspectives and expectations about a sustainable, resilient future from a variety of actors and stakeholdersStakeholders. This chapter considers the settings in which transdisciplinary participatoryParticipatory visioning takes place, highlighting lessons learned from the Ur...
Chapter
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Resilient urban futures provides a social–ecological–technological systems (SETS) perspective on promoting and understanding resilience. This chapter introduces the concepts, research, and practice of urban resilience from the Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network (UREx SRN). It describes conceptual and methodological approac...
Article
Increased nitrogen (N) deposition threatens global biodiversity, but its effects in arid urban ecosystems are not well studied. In addition to altered N availability, urban environments also experience increases in other pollutants, decreased population connectivity, and altered biotic interactions, which can further impact biodiversity. In deserts...
Presentation
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The nature of urban development in the last century overlaps with an increase in the magnitude and frequency of heatwaves, flooding, and other weather-related extreme events, which has led to increased social, economic, and infrastructure impacts from such events. Improving resilience to extreme events has become a shared goal that cuts across inte...
Article
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Cities face a number of challenges to ensure that people’s well-being and ecosystem integrity are not only maintained but improved for current and future generations. Urban planning must account for the diverse and changing interactions among the social, ecological, and technological systems (SETS) of a city. Cities struggle with long-range approac...
Article
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In the United States of America, urban areas of the arid Southwest are prone to drought risk and changing precipitation patterns; future water supplies are uncertain. A collaborative working group of researchers and practitioners developed alternative future scenarios for 2060—sustainable water futures—that incorporate standard and novel water-adap...
Article
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Scenarios are a tool to develop plausible, coherent visions about the future and to foster anticipatory knowledge. We present the Sustainable Future Scenarios (SFS) framework and demonstrate its application through the Central Arizona-Phoenix Long-term Ecological Research (CAP LTER) urban site. The SFS approach emphasizes the co-development of posi...
Article
Cultural ecosystem services (CES) are an important component of the benefits that humans derive from nature. Yet, research on CES at landscape scales has lagged behind other ecosystem services, due to the difficulty measuring CES across broad scales and the uncertainty about the mechanisms linking CES provisioning to biophysical characteristics. So...
Article
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Ecosystem ecology, like all scientific disciplines, is often propelled forward by “classic” papers that identify key concepts within the field and define the core questions for generations of scientists. Here, we examine the legacy and sustained impact of a paper long considered a classic in ecology, E.P. (Gene) Odum’s 1969 “The strategy of ecosyst...
Article
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Transformational change is not always intentional. However, deliberate transformations are imperative to achieve the sustainable visions that future generations deserve. Small, unintentional tweaks will not be enough to overcome persistent and emergent urban challenges. Recent scholarship on sustainability transformations has evolved considerably,...
Article
Arid and semi-arid ecosystems (aridlands) cover a third of Earth's terrestrial surface and contain organisms that are sensitive to low level atmospheric pollutants. Atmospheric nitrogen (N) inputs to aridlands are likely to cause changes in plant community composition, fire frequency, and carbon cycling and storage. However, few studies have docume...
Article
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Methodology • Stratiied sampling design of 400 households in four Phoenix neighborhoods • Data collected in a mail-based social survey (2007) & an observational eld survey (2008) • 121 homeowner responses to social survey, 400 household observations in eld survey • Composite value indices created by averaging responses of social survey questions •...
Chapter
For the first time in history, more people live in cities than in nonurban areas. Thus for most people, the urban ecosystem is the place for daily interactions with the environment. Scientists study urban ecological systems for two reasons: (1) they provide a set of services to urban residents; and (2) they can be used as a testing ground for ecolo...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Plants and ecosystems are rarely exposed to a single pollutant, yet research on the effects of co-occurring atmospheric compounds is limited. Carbon dioxide (CO2), ozone (O3), and nitrogen (N) deposition are elevated in and around cities impacting air quality at local to global scales. Despite the ecological relevance...
Article
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To meet the grand challenges of the urban century—such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and persistent poverty—urban and ecological theory must contribute to integrated frameworks that treat social and ecological dynamics as interdependent. A socio-ecological framework that encapsulates theory from the social and ecological sciences will impro...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Cities occupy just 2% of terrestrial land cover, but over 50% of the world’s population lives in urban areas. Ecosystems downwind of cities are exposed to numerous compounds in the urban atmosphere that affect ecosystem properties and processes. We measured nitrogen (N) deposition, plant growth and composition, herbivo...
Article
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Residential landscapes are a common setting of human-environment interactions. These ubiquitous ecosystems provide social and ecological services, and yard maintenance leads to intended and unintended ecological outcomes. The ecological characteristics of residential landscapes and the human drivers of landscape management have been the focus of di...
Article
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As urban environments dominate the landscape, we need to examine how limiting nutrients such as phosphorus (P) cycle in these novel ecosystems. Sustainable management of P resources is necessary to ensure global food security and to minimize freshwater pollution. We used a spatially explicit budget to quantify the pools and fluxes of P in the Great...
Conference Paper
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The productivity and diversity of desert annual plants is regulated by multiple factors such as precipitation, soil inorganic nitrogen (iN), and consumption by herbivores. In this study, we examined the relative importance of regulating factors of annual plants across an urban-rural gradient in metro Phoenix, AZ. We measured precipitation, soil iN...
Conference Paper
Plant growth and composition are regulated by top-down (e.g., herbivory) and bottom-up factors (e.g., resource availability). The relative importance of consumers and multiple resources for net primary production (NPP) and community structure have rarely been studied in drylands, which cover about one third of Earth’s land surface, or with respect...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods While cities occupy a relatively small land area globally, atmospheric compounds generated from human-dominated ecosystems have significant impacts on protected lands worldwide. Atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition alters ecological processes and properties, such as biogeochemical cycling, primary production, and commun...
Conference Paper
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Background/Question/Methods Net primary production is influenced by both bottom-up and top-down factors in ecosystems. Urbanization, however, changes nutrient availability and consumer populations in and around cities. In general, urbanization increases nutrient availability, such as soil nitrogen (N), and changes herbivore populations relative t...
Article
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Urban residential expansion increasingly drives land use, land cover and ecological changes worldwide, yet social science theories explaining such change remain under-developed. Existing theories often focus on processes occurring at one scale, while ignoring other scales. Emerging evidence from four linked U.S. research sites suggests it is essent...
Article
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Previous research has examined the influence of values on human-ecological decisions, yet disparate approaches render inferences across studies difficult. In this paper, we present a robust conceptualization of values, encompassing general life values, broad-based environmental orientations, and specific yard priorities, while comparatively examini...
Article
Many ecologists are interested in communicating science to the public and addressing societal concerns about environmental issues. Individual ecologists need to consider whether, when, and how this should be done. We propose that public outreach activities can be beneficial for ecologists at all stages of their career. There are diverse opportuniti...
Article
Ecosystem services derive from underlying ecosystem processes but are distinguished by their benefits to society. Among ecosystem services, those associated with biogeochemical cycling and regulation of water, air, and soil quality are relatively unrecognized by the public, although concentrations of some materials are regulated by local, state and...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Human management of landscapes is a primary cause of global environmental change. In residential landscapes, homeowners’ yard management choices are important drivers of ecological properties and processes in urban ecosystems. Moreover, at this small scale, characteristics and actions of individuals can be linked direct...
Data
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Residential landscapes, including lawns and other types of vegetation, are an increasingly important component of urban ecosystems. Turfgrass lawns are now among the largest irrigated crops in the U.S., contributing to high rates of water and fertilizer use. Yet we know little about the social and ecological dynamics of different landscape types...

Citations

... Revealing the spatial pattern of trade-offs and synergies between ecosystem services under the interaction of human and nature, and then restoring the damaged ecosystem to improve urban resilience, is crucial for urban ecosystem sustainability. The supply of urban ESs depends on the structure and function of multiple systems: social, governance, ecosystems, and the relationships between systems across temporal and spatial scales [4,5]. In urban areas, management measures in ...
... Carbon density (kg/ m 2 ) to specific depths was calculated using bulk density values measured on each core depth segment. Carbonates were not removed from samples before analysis of total carbon because the pH of our soils was low enough that carbonates were likely not present in significant quantities (Mejía et al., 2021). ...
... We tested how those measures differed for respondents who were female, low-income, or nonwhite, compared to those who were male, higher income, or white. Many of the studies on nature use during the pandemic use convenience sampling and acknowledge their samples' bias toward high-income or frequent nature users (e.g., Derks et al., 2020;Grima et al., 2020;Venter et al., 2020;Maurer et al., 2021). The goal of our study is to provide evidence from a demographically representative sample on changes in nature access during the COVID-19 pandemic along gender, income, and racial divides, and whether the pandemic seems to have exacerbated or assuaged prior inequalities. ...
... Among the high success sites, both Pelham Bay Park and Marine Park 3 had higher soil N concentrations, which is consistent with significantly higher soil C concentrations (Downey et al., 2021), and a more developed canopy and litter layer of trees planted suggesting higher forest productivity. This relationship between C and N cycling supports the idea that strong plant-soil feedbacks drive afforestation success. ...
... Globally and in the USA, governments across scales have developed a plethora of climate resilience-related policies and plans to build adaptive capacity and implement actions to reduce risk and vulnerability while enhancing equity (Adger, Arnell, & Tompkins, 2005;Fastiggi, Meerow, & Miller, 2020;Muñoz-Erickson et al., 2021;Woodruff, Meerow, Stults, & Wilkins, 2018). Local governments and urban municipalities have been particularly active since the prevailing notion is that climate change resilience initiatives should be local and context-specific (Baker, Peterson, Brown, & McAlpine, 2012). ...
... One of the key objectives of the MCM LTER is understanding the ecosystem's response to a changing climate (Iwaniec et al. 2021). We set out to understand the seasonal and annual variability and short-term trends in snow accumulation and persistence in TV. ...
... This hyper-spread notion is treated as a utopian project by many scholars [6][7][8]. Despite the large focus of the conception, the contours of several core directions of the utopian approach to sustainable urban development are already clearly visible in concepts such Sustainability 2022, 14, 11572 2 of 23 as green cities [9,10], smart cities [11][12][13][14][15][16], resilient cities [17][18][19][20][21], and car-free cities [22,23], to name but a few. One of the aims of the UN 2030 Agenda for sustainable development is to "make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable." ...
... As documented by the online survey, including the voices of the public represents an important aspect by the planning practitioners of Dortmund (Fig. 10). This empowerment was given in phase 1 of the research project as framing from the outset but should also be reinforced in the siting process to reduce mistrust among local residents and therefore increase the legitimacy of GI frameworks (Cook et al. 2021;Paavola and Adger 2006). With regard to the reduction in flexibility during the transdisciplinary approach, the inclusion of citizens in Dortmund Marten would have been meaningful in phase 2, especially when it comes to the planting of trees in front of people's houses. ...
... Equitably transforming urban SETS requires deliberate thinking about the future, including anticipating potential risks and planning for desired changes (Muñoz-Erickson et al., 2021). Resilience theory includes time scale as an essential component, as systems change over time and can evolve or be pushed into different basins of attraction (Folke, 2006). ...
... Using Mexico City's Resilience Strategy (Oficina de Resiliencia CDMX, 2016) as a case study, we wanted to bridge the gap between theoretical considerations about resilience attributes and its actual contribution to public policy. The issue of the ambiguity of the resilience concept and the different conceptualizations of this term used by practitioner and scientific communities has been widely discussed in the resilience literature, however, the analysis of the use of resilience attributes has received less attention, with few exceptions such as the recent study by Berbés-Blázquez et al. (2021). These attributes are usually considered as key elements for urban resilience (e.g., Arup, 2015;Biggs et al., 2012;Sharifi & Yamagata, 2016) but it is not clear if they are equally important (i.e., whether or not they all equally contribute to urban resilience) or even whether they are needed or not to implement a resilience strategy. ...