Green Cities: Ecology and Design in Urban Landscapes

Wednesday, August 13, 2014: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
Gardenia, Sheraton Hotel
Sharon K. Collinge, University of Colorado
Ari E. Novy, U.S. Botanic Garden; and Alexander J. Felson, Yale University
Sharon K. Collinge, University of Colorado
Over 50% of all humans now live in cities. This changing demographic increases demands on sustainable water and food systems, waste infrastructure, social networks and human health. The lack of the interdisciplinary integration of ecological science with design and planning is one critical challenge impeding sustainable cities. The goal of this symposium is to explicitly feature examples of the synthesis of ecology and design in urban landscapes. The symposium will define opportunities for ecologists and designers to collaborate to enhance water, food, biodiversity, and other ecological values along with human well being in urban landscapes. Our speakers include established and early career ecologists as well as designers and planners whose expertise will bring fresh perspectives to the membership of ESA. This symposium complements efforts by the ESA’s ongoing Earth Stewardship Initiative to broaden the reach of ecology to communities beyond our membership, via the inclusion of design and planning professionals as speakers. This session will also complement an ecological design project to be launched at the Sacramento meeting, which will incorporate ecological science into landscape and urban design and will serve as a tool for positioning ecologists as active participants in shaping urban development. The symposium will be organized to pair an ecologist and a designer to speak on each of the three, interrelated themes: water, food, and biodiversity and ecosystem services. The pairing of the speakers in this way will reveal key opportunities for collaboration on each of these themes, connections among these themes, and will provide rich sources for comparison of approaches that will be highlighted in the 20-minute synthesis, summary, and discussion period at the conclusion of the symposium. This symposium is part of the 2014 Earth Stewardship Initiative. For more information visit
1:30 PM
 Ecological convergence of hydrological systems in urban landscapes
Peter M. Groffman, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
2:00 PM
 Biomimicry and architectural design of urban water systems
Ilaria Mazzoleni, Southern California Institute of Archiecture
3:00 PM
3:10 PM
 Designing a sustainable urban agriculture
Sarah Taylor Lovell, University of Illinois
3:40 PM
 Promoting urban sustainability via linkages among stewardship, urban yards, biodiversity, and ecosystem services
Susannah B. Lerman, USDA Forest Service; Keith H. Nislow, Northeast Climate Science Center; Alexandra R. Contosta, University of New Hampshire; Paige S. Warren, University of Massachusetts; Peter Marra, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute; Craig Nicolson, University of Massachusetts
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