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Urban ecosystems : Challenges for applied urban modelling

James, P 2015, Urban ecosystems : Challenges for applied urban modelling , in: The 5th Symposium on Applied Urban Modelling (AUM) 2015, 24-26 June 2015, University of Cambridge.

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The concept of an ecosystem can be understood as the sum of the biotic and abiotic elements in an area of study, or as the patterns and processes that operate within that area of study as a result of the interaction between the biotic and abiotic components. In the urban context we often refer to ecology in a city and ecology of a city. Ecology in a city relates to the first definition of an ecosystem, an understanding of the components of an ecosystem, while ecology of a city relates to the second definition and to an understanding of the processes that take place within the city. As our understanding of ecology has radically changed since the 1960s, we have begun to appreciate how tensions develop between an ecological and a more traditional, deterministic understanding of the world. While there is much that is predictable regarding ecology, there is a significant stochastic element to the detailed development of ecosystems such that while general trends can be in some ways foreseen, stochastic processes mean that the detail of exactly what will happen cannot be predicted with any great certainty. We see the tensions played out in urban planning every day as developers ask ecologists where they want space for nature, how much space they want, what they want to do in that space, etc. Here deterministic thinking collides with stochastic models. Addressing the two modelling perspectives is a critical task for applied urban modelling. Examples from Greater Manchester and Merseyside will be used to illustrate the points above.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Themes: Built and Human Environment
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: The 5th Symposium on Applied Urban Modelling (AUM) 2015
Publisher: University of Cambridge
Refereed: Yes
Related URLs:
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: Professor Philip James
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2015 11:58
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2015 11:58

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