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McDonald, R.I., Mansur, A.V., Ascensão, F., Colbert, M., Crossman, K., Elmqvist, T., et.al. 2019. Research gaps in knowledge of the impact of urban growth in biodiversity. Nature Sustainability, DOI: 10.1038/s41893-019-0436-6
By 2030, an additional 1.2 billion people are forecast in urban areas globally. We review the scientific literature ( n = 922 studies) to assess direct and indirect impacts of urban growth on habitat and biodiversity. Direct impacts are cumulatively substantial, with 290,000 km 2 of natural habitat forecast to be converted to urban land uses between 2000 and 2030. Studies of direct impact are disproportionately from high-i...
Anderson, P., Charles-Dominique, T., Ernstson, H., Andersson, Goodness, J., Elmqvist, T. 2019. Post-apartheid ecologies in the City of Cape Town: An examination of plantfunctional traits in relation to urban gradients. Landscape and Urban Planning 193 (2020) 103662
In this study we explore species richness and traits across two urban gradients in the City of Cape Town. The first is the natural-urban boundary and the second is a socio-economic gradient informed by historical race-based apartheid planning. Plant species and cover were recorded in 156 plots sampled from conservation areas, private gardens, and public open green space. The socio-economic gradient transitioned from wealthier...
Libert Amico, A., Ituarte-Lima, C. & Elmqvist, T. 2019. Learning from social–ecological crisis for legal resilience building: multi-scale dynamics in the coffee rust epidemic. Sustain Sci (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11625-019-00703-x
A recent coffee leaf rust epidemic has generated a severe fall in Coffea arabica production throughout Mexico and Central America. This paper analyzes the social–ecological crisis presented by the Hemileia vastatrix outbreak, with a focus on how global, regional and national dynamics interact with local processes in the Chiapas Sierra Madre of south-eastern Mexico, a biodiversity hotspot with a tradition of smallholder, ...
Elmqvist, T., Andersson, E. Frantzeskaki, N. et.al. 2019. Sustainability and resilience for transformation in the urban century, Nature Sustainability volume 2, pages 267–273 (2019)
We have entered the urban century and addressing a broad suite of sustainability challenges in urban areas is increasingly key for our chances to transform the entire planet towards sustainability. For example, cities are responsible for 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions and, at the same time, 90% of urban areas are situated on coastlines, making the majority of the world’s population increasingly vulnerable to climate ch...
Journal / article
McDonald, R.I., Beatley, T., Elmqvist, T. 2018. The green soul of the concrete jungle: the urban century, the urban psychological penalty, and the role of nature. Sustainable Earth 2018 1:3, https://doi.org/10.1186/s42055-018-0002-5
By 2050, there are forecast to be 2.4 billion more people in cities, and this century could rightly be called the urban century. This paper argues that, paradoxically, without the use of nature the urban century will fail. We review three literatures to assess the scientific support for this proposition. First, studies from economics show that it is the extreme potential for interaction that makes cities centers of productivit...
Elmqvist, T., Siri, J., Andersson, E., Anderson, P., Bai, X. et al.2018. Urban tinkering. Sustainability Science. Doi: 10.1007/s11625-018-0611-0
Cities are currently experiencing serious, multifaceted impacts from global environmental change, especially climate change, and the degree to which they will need to cope with and adapt to such challenges will continue to increase. A complex systems approach inspired by evolutionary theory can inform strategies for policies and interventions to deal with growing urban vulnerabilities. Such an approach would guide the design o...
Maddox, D., H. Nagendra, T. Elmqvist, A. Russ. 2017. Advancing Urbanization. Urban Environmental Education Review, pp. 13-20.
This chapter is part of Urban Environmental Education Review which explores how environmental education can contribute to urban sustainability. Urban environmental education includes any practices that create learning opportunities to foster individual and community well-being and environmental quality in cities. It fosters novel educational approaches and helps debunk common assumptions that cities are ecologically barren and...
Journal / article
Tidball, K.G, Metcalf, S., Bain, M., Elmqvist, T. 2017. Community-led reforestation: cultivating the potential of virtuous cycles to confer resilience in disaster disrupted social–ecological systems. Sustain Sci https://doi.org/10.1007/s11625-017-0506-5
Human relationships with trees can result in widespread citizen-led reforestation projects that catalyze social–biological-reinforcing feedback loops and set in motion virtuous cycles that restore perturbed social–ecological systems. These virtuous cycles confer resilience in such systems that counterbalance the tendency for vicious cycles to be triggered by destructive behavior and neglect. Given this argument, we ask: how do...
Tengö, M., R. Hill, P. Malmer, C. M. Raymond, M. Spierenburg, F. Danielsen, T. Elmqvist, C. Folke. 2017. Weaving knowledge systems in IPBES, CBD and beyond—lessons learned for sustainability. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability. 26–27:17–25
Indigenous peoples and local communities live in, manage and own vast areas often rich in biodiversity and critical for ecosystem services. Bridging indigenous and local knowledge systems with scientific knowledge systems is vital to enhance knowledge, practice, and ethics to move towards sustainability at multiple scales. We focus on international science-policy processes and present a framework for evidence-based guidance on...
Bai, X., Surveyer, A., Elmqvist, T., Gatzweiler, F.W., Güneralp, B., Parnell, S., Prieur-Richard, A-H., Shrivastava, P., Siri J.G., Stafford-Smith, M., Toussaint, J-P., and Webb, R. 2016. Defining and advancing a systems approach for sustainable cities. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 2016, 23:69–78, DOI: 10.1016/j.cosust.2016.11.010
The sustainable development of cities is increasingly recognized as crucial to meeting collectively agreed sustainability goals at local, regional and global scales, and more broadly to securing human well-being worldwide. The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include a goal on cities (Goal 11), with most other goals and targets have urban applications and multi scalar implications for their implementation. Further, the ...
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