Links between science, design and decision making in urban ecology: Best practice and its future refinement
To promote urban sustainability and resilience, the role of co-design, co-production, and dissemination of social-ecological knowledge is of growing interest and importance for cities and metropolitan regions. Although the antecedents for this approach are decades old, the integration of science and practice to advance sustainability and resilience is different from earlier approaches in several ways. The potential number of science disciplines required is much larger. The diversity and number of potential actors from government, business, and civil society sectors is greater. The technological infrastructures to facilitate co-design, co-production, and dissemination of social-ecological knowledge have radically changed, with the advent of and increasing access to diverse digital data, the internet, and its associated technologies. The social relationships connecting distant sectors and actors in the current era of globalization are ever more complex and dynamic. Finally, the need to address sustainability and resilience involves numerous scales—from household to global—and may be one of the defining issues for this century.
In this presentation, we discuss how the new requirements and possibilities for co-design, co-production, and dissemination of social-ecological research can be used for An Ecology FOR the City, and to promote urban sustainability and resilience. While new technologies are part of the solution, traditional approaches remain important. Using our urban experiences from the U.S. long term ecological (LTER) network and the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES), Florida Coastal Everglades (FCE) and Central Arizona-Phoenix (CAP) LTERs, we describe a dynamic framework for linking decisions and science. This framework, coupled with a user defined, theory based approach to science, can be instrumental to advance both practice and science. Ultimately, cities are ideal places for facilitating the flow of information from basic science to decision-making and problem solving.