The Urbane Ecologist


  • If you want to know more about how people from different disciplines connect ideas about energy, landscapes, urban environments, and people, to think about the “urban metabolism“, then a good paper to read is “Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Urban Metabolism” by Vanesa Castan Broto, Adriana Allen, and Elizabeth Rapoport (published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology, 2012).
  • For a review of data and models on energy and material flows in the world’s megacities, and for an interesting discussion on using biological metabolism and ecosystem succession as conceptual frameworks for examining urban ecological problems, see Rowland et al.’s paper, “Energy and Material Flow through the Urban Ecosystem” (published in the Annual Review of Energy and the Environment, 2000–watch that year, because specific data on the megacities is likely outdated by now!).
  • For a perfect example of how cities can be analyzed both in terms of human and biological aspects, and how this relates to urban planning and solving urban problems, check out the Lima Ecological Infrastructure Strategy. If you’d like to know more about green infrastructure, this document can help introduce you to the key ideas, starting on p. 57.
  • To know more about the difference between “grey” and “green” infrastructure, the following might be worth a look. I haven’t read it myself, but it’s definitely on my list! Mell, IC, 2013, “Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail? Examining the “green” of Green Infrastructure Development‘, vol. 18, no. 2, p. 152-166.
  • For a review of urban energy systems which examines topics such as urbanization, energy accounting methods, urban energy use trends, sustainable urban systems, policy instruments, transportation systems, and air pollution trends, check out Ch. 18 (“Urban Energy Systems”) of the 2014 Global Energy Assessment.

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