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Urbanization, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Challenges and Opportunities

A Global Assessment

  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2013

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  • The world’s first global assessment of the effects of urbanization on biodiversity and ecosystem services
  • Presents the latest state-of-the-art of urbanization, and identifies crucial knowledge gaps that need to be bridged
  • Develops a new theoretical framework for urban sustainability and resilience
  • The book’s thirty-two chapters include global, regional and local perspectives and can be read together or as stand-alone texts
  • This book is an open access book, which is freely available online to anyone, anywhere! The printed hardbound edition (755 pages) is available for just EUR 49,99
  • Includes supplementary material:

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About this book

Urbanization is a global phenomenon and the book emphasizes that this is not just a social-technological process. It is also a social-ecological process where cities are places for nature, and where cities also are dependent on, and have impacts on, the biosphere at different scales from local to global. The book is a global assessment and delivers four main conclusions:

  1. Urban areas are expanding faster than urban populations. Half the increase in urban land across the world over the next 20 years will occur in Asia, with the most extensive change expected to take place in India and China
  2. Urban areas modify their local and regional climate through the urban heat island effect and by altering precipitation patterns, which together will have significant impacts on net primary production, ecosystem health, and biodiversity
  3. Urban expansion will heavily draw on natural resources, including water, on a global scale, and will often consume prime agricultural land, with knock-on effects on biodiversity and ecosystem services elsewhere
  4. Future urban expansion will often occur in areas where the capacity for formal governance is restricted, which will constrain the protection of biodiversity and management of ecosystem services

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Table of contents (33 chapters)


From the reviews:

“This book explores how urbanization across global, regional, and local scales has multiple impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services. … a thorough, well-researched, and important compilation that delivers a valuable contribution to integrating knowledge about biodiversity and ecosystem services into urban design and urban planning. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students, researchers/faculty, and professionals.” (R. A. Delgado, Jr., Choice, Vol. 51 (10), June, 2014)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

    Thomas Elmqvist, Julie Goodness, Maria Schewenius, Marte Sendstad, Cathy Wilkinson

  • Department of Economics, Boise State University College of Business and Economics, Boise, USA

    Michail Fragkias

  • Department of Geography, Texas A&M University, College Station, USA

    Burak Güneralp

  • Department of Geography, City University of New York (CUNY) Hunter College, New York, USA

    Peter J. Marcotullio

  • The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, USA

    Robert I. McDonald

  • Dept Environmental & Geographical Sci, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

    Susan Parnell

  • School of Forestry & Environmental Studi, Yale University, New Haven, USA

    Karen C. Seto

Bibliographic Information

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