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  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2013

Urbanization, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Challenges and Opportunities

A Global Assessment

  • 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:

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (33 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xxviii
  2. A Global Outlook on Urbanization

    • Karen C. Seto, Susan Parnell, Thomas Elmqvist
    Pages 1-12Open Access
  3. History of Urbanization and the Missing Ecology

    • Thomas Elmqvist, Charles L. Redman, Stephan Barthel, Robert Costanza
    Pages 13-30Open Access
  4. Urbanization and Global Trends in Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

    • Robert I. McDonald, Peter J. Marcotullio, Burak Güneralp
    Pages 31-52Open Access
  5. Regional Assessment of Asia

    • Karen C. Seto
    Pages 53-56Open Access
  6. Sub-regional Assessment of China: Urbanization in Biodiversity Hotspots

    • Burak Güneralp, Karen C. Seto
    Pages 57-63Open Access
  7. Sub-regional Assessment of India: Effects of Urbanization on Land Use, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

    • Harini Nagendra, H. S. Sudhira, Madhusudan Katti, Maria Schewenius
    Pages 65-74Open Access
  8. Patterns and Trends in Urban Biodiversity and Landscape Design

    • Norbert Müller, Maria Ignatieva, Charles H. Nilon, Peter Werner, Wayne C. Zipperer
    Pages 123-174Open Access
  9. Urban Ecosystem Services

    • Erik Gómez-Baggethun, Åsa Gren, David N. Barton, Johannes Langemeyer, Timon McPhearson, Patrick O’Farrell et al.
    Pages 175-251Open Access
  10. Shrinking Cities, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

    • Dagmar Haase
    Pages 253-274Open Access
  11. Regional Assessment of Europe

    • Jakub Kronenberg, Azime Tezer, Dagmar Haase, Johan Colding
    Pages 275-278Open Access
  12. Regional Assessment of North America: Urbanization Trends, Biodiversity Patterns, and Ecosystem Services

    • Timon McPhearson, Roger Auch, Marina Alberti
    Pages 279-286Open Access
  13. Regional Assessment of Oceania

    • Robert Dyball, Christopher D. Ives, Ian White
    Pages 287-289Open Access
  14. Local Assessment of İstanbul: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

    • Burak Güneralp, Azime Tezer, İlke Albayrak
    Pages 291-311Open Access
  15. Local Assessment of Chicago: From Wild Chicago to Chicago Wilderness – Chicago’s Ecological Setting and Recent Efforts to Protect and Restore Nature in the Region

    • Liam Heneghan, Christopher Mulvaney, Kristen Ross, Susan Stewart, Lauren Umek, Cristy Watkins et al.
    Pages 337-354Open Access
  16. Local Assessment of New York City: Biodiversity, Green Space, and Ecosystem Services

    • Timon McPhearson, David Maddox, Bram Gunther, David Bragdon
    Pages 355-383Open Access

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


  • Biodiversity
  • Challenges
  • Ecosystem services
  • Opportunities
  • Urbanization
  • urban geography and urbanism


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

  • Book Title: Urbanization, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Challenges and Opportunities

  • Book Subtitle: A Global Assessment

  • Editors: Thomas Elmqvist, Michail Fragkias, Julie Goodness, Burak Güneralp, Peter J. Marcotullio, Robert I. McDonald, Susan Parnell, Maria Schewenius, Marte Sendstad, Karen C. Seto, Cathy Wilkinson

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Dordrecht

  • eBook Packages: Biomedical and Life Sciences, Biomedical and Life Sciences (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and the Author(s) 2013

  • License: CC BY-NC

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-94-007-7087-4Published: 04 October 2013

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-94-024-0091-5Published: 02 October 2016

  • eBook ISBN: 978-94-007-7088-1Published: 21 September 2013

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XXVIII, 755

  • Number of Illustrations: 127 b/w illustrations, 23 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Urban Ecology, Urban Sociology, Sustainability, Complex Systems, Humanities and Social Sciences, International Environmental Law

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)