The Routledge Handbook of Urban Ecology: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Routledge Handbook of Urban Ecology

1st Edition

Edited by Ian Douglas, David Goode, Mike Houck, Rusong Wang


664 pages

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The birds, animals, insects, trees and plants encountered by the majority of the world’s people are those that survive in, adapt to, or are introduced to, urban areas. Some of these organisms give great pleasure; others invade, colonise and occupy neglected and hidden areas such as derelict land and sewers. Urban areas have a high biodiversity and nature within cities provides many ecosystem services including cooling the urban area, reducing urban flood risk, filtering pollutants, supplying food, and providing accessible recreation. Yet, protecting urban nature faces competition from other urban land uses.

The Handbook of Urban Ecology analyses this biodiversity and complexity and provides the science to guide policy and management to make cities more attractive, more enjoyable, and better for our own health and that of the planet. This Handbook contains 50 interdisciplinary contributions from leading academics and practitioners from across the world to provide an in-depth coverage of the main elements of practical urban ecology. It is divided into six parts, dealing with the philosophies, concepts and history of urban ecology; followed by consideration of the biophysical character of the urban environment and the diverse habitats found within it. It then examines human relationships with urban nature, the health, economic and environmental benefits of urban ecology before discussing the methods used in urban ecology and ways of putting the science into practice.

The Handbook offers a state-of the art guide to the science, practice and value of urban ecology. The engaging contributions provide students and practitioners with the wealth of interdisciplinary information needed to manage the biota and green landscapes in urban areas.


"This valuable collection of essays will provide a benchmark in urban ecology for many years to come. This book is a superb resource for researchers and students who wish to home in on a topic, learn what there is to know, and perhaps carry on further investigations. The rock-solid science in the text is readable enough to allow this reviewer to assign topics in urban ecology to his non-science-major undergraduates. The volume is particularly useful because the essays pinpoint important issues and frame them empirically. Students can critically read and analyze an essay, design a simple research project, and conduct an experimental foray into their own urban environment….Summing up: Essential. All readership levels." CHOICE, S. Hammer, Boston University, USA

"My first impression of the Routledge Handbook of Urban Ecology is that it is very extensive and includes an impressive array of contributions from a considerable number of highly distinguished and respected experts.[I]t is a stimulating and valuable book and likely to expand the horizons of all those interested in urban ecology."

Stephen Venn, Conservation Biology

Table of Contents

Part 1 Context, History and Philosophies Introduction 1. Urban ecology: definitions and goals N. E. McIntyre 2. The analysis of cities as ecosystems Ian Douglas 3. Urban ecology and industrial ecology Xuemei Bai and Heinz Schandl 4. Urban areas in the context of human ecology Roderick J. Lawrence 5. In livable cities is preservation of the wild: the politics of providing for nature in cities Michael C. Houck 6. The human relationship with nature: rights of animals and plants in the urban context Jason Byrne 7. Urban natural histories to urban ecologies: the growth of the study of urban nature Ian Douglas and David Goode 8. Planning for nature in towns and cities: a historical perspective David Goode 9. How much is urban nature worth? and for whom? Thoughts from ecological economics Anna Chiesura and Joan Martinez-Alier Part 2 The Urban Ecological Environment Introduction 10. Climate of cities Professor C.S.B. Grimmond 11. Urban heat islands T.R. Oke 12. Urban effects on precipitation and associated convective processes J.M. Shepherd, J.A. Stallins, M.L. Jin and T.L. Mote 13. Urban hydrology Ian Douglas 14. Urban geomorphology Ian Douglas 15. Urban soils Peter J. Marcotullio 16. The process of natural succession in urban areas Wayne C. Zipperer 17. Recombinant ecology of urban areas: characterisation, context and creativity Colin D Meurk 18. Creative conservation Grant Luscombe and Richard Scott Part 3 The Nature of Urban Habitats Introduction 19. Walls and paved surfaces: urban complexes with limited water and nutrients C. Philip Wheater 20. Urban cliffs Jeremy Lundholm 21. Suburban mosaic of houses, roads, gardens and mature trees Ian Douglas 22. Urban wildlife corridors: conduits for movement or linear habitat? Ian Douglas and Jon Sadler 23. Landscaped parks and open spaces M. Hermy 24. Grassland on reclaimed soil, with streets, car parks and buildings but few, or no, mature trees Tony Kendle 25. Urban contaminated land Michael O. Rivett, Jonathan P. Sadler and Bob C. Barnes 26. Urban woodlands as distinctive and threatened nature-in-city patches C.Y. Jim 27. Wetlands in urban environments Joan G. Ehrenfeld, Monica Palta, and Emilie Stander 28. Urban animal ecology Peter J. Jarvis 29. Feral animals in the urban environment Peter J. Jarvis Part 4 Ecosystem services and urban ecology Introduction 30. Intrinsic and aesthetic values of urban nature: the view from London David Nicholson-Lord 31. Intrinsic and aesthetic values of urban nature: A psychological perspective Rachel Kaplan 32. Urban nature and human physical health Jenna H. Tilt 33 Urban nature: human psychological and community health Rod Matsuoka and William Sullivan 34. Street trees and the urban environment Gerald F.M. Dawe 35. Urban gardens and biodiversity Kevin J. Gaston and Sian Gaston Part 5 Methodologies Introduction 36. Urban habitat analysis Ian Douglas 37. Urban habitat type mapping Peter J. Jarvis 38. Invasive species and their response to climate change Ian Douglas 39. Urban biogeochemical flux analysis Nancy B. Grimm, Rebecca L. Hale, Elizabeth M. Cook and David M. Iwaniec 40. Urban metabolism analysis Shu-Li Huang andand Chun-Lin Lee Part 6 Applications and Policy Implications Introduction 41. Delivering urban greenspace for people and wildlife John Box 42. Urban areas and the biosphere reserve concept Pete Frost and Glen Hyman 43. Urban ecology and sustainable urban drainage Peter Worrall and Sarah Little 44. Green roofs, urban vegetation and urban runoff Joachim T. Tourbier 45. The role of green infrastructure in adapting cities to climate change Ian Douglas 46. Creative use of therapeutic green spaces Ambra Burls 47. Peri-urban ecology: green infrastructure in the 21st century metro-scape Joe Ravetz 48. Biodiversity as a statutory component of urban planning David Goode 49. Making urban ecology a key element in urban development and planning John Stuart-Murray 50. Towards Ecopolis: new technologies, new philosophies and new developments Rusong Wang, Paul Downton and Ian Douglas Conclusion

About the Editors

Ian Douglas is Emeritus Professor at the School of Environment and Development, University of Manchester, UK.

David Goode is a Professor at the Environment Institute, University College London, UK.

Michael C. Houck is Executive Director of Urban Greenspaces Institute, Portland, Oregon, USA.

Rusong Wang is Deputy Director at State Key Lab of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
REFERENCE / Handbooks & Manuals
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Ecology
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geography
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography