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Frontiers in Urban Ecological Research and Planning:Linking Ideas from the East and West
【2012-3-22】

Frontiers in Urban Ecological Research and Planning:

Linking Ideas from the East and West

 

Shanghai, China

 

October 25—30, 2012

 

An International Workshop Organized by

Shanghai Key Lab for Urban Ecological Processes and Eco-Restoration (SHUES)

East China Normal University (ECNU), Shanghai, China

 

Description and Justification:

 

Cities and towns around the world continue to grow in area and population putting significant stress on local and regional resources while affecting the safety, health and wellbeing of city dwellers of all kinds. This is especially true in the rapidly urbanizing areas of Asia, especially China. Today more than ever in human history there is an urgent need to enhance our understanding of human settlements and to develop appropriate planning and management tools for building and maintaining sustainable cities and towns in the future.

 

The integrative science of urban ecology and sustainability is at the forefront of developing the knowledge base, conceptual frameworks and tools required to create sustainable, green, and livable human settlements. Historically, much of our understanding of the ecology of urban areas has come from Europe and North America. Over the past few decades significant advances have been made by researchers in Asia as well as in other parts of the world in the study of the multiple dimensions of urban ecosystems and in developing effective planning and management strategies to build and manage sustainable cities. Most significant are the realizations that an urban area is a spatially heterogeneous ecosystem of humans and their “natural” and built environments; and as the study of such an integrated system, urban ecology should include the ecology of cities focusing on the interactions between humans and their environments as well as the sustainability of cities which necessitates the integration between the ecology and planning/design of the urban landscape.

 

The purpose of this invitation-only workshop is bringing together about 20 scholars from around the world to discuss the key research topics, challenges, opportunities, and solutions in the ecology and sustainability of urban landscapes and regions.  Specifically, the workshop will

 

  1. Assess the state of the art of urban ecology with a focus on the efficacy of its current theories, conceptual frameworks and methodologies for studying and planning cities and towns in China;
  2. Explore how urban ecosystems research and planning in China can contribute to the knowledge base and effectiveness of both the field of urban ecology and sustainability and the practice of urban planning in building and managing green, healthy cities and towns around the world;
  3. Identify important future research questions. More specifically, two categories of questions are of special interests. First are questions that are too large or too complex to be addressed by a single country or academic discipline because of their association with such problems as climate change and globalization; Second are questions that may have a regional or even local origin, but are of international interest for a better understanding of the urban ecosystems, such as those that are related to ecosystem safety and health, poverty, sustainable development, and population aging.
  4. Propose processes, theories, methodologies and tools that are suitable for conducting collaborative and trans-disciplinary research on the questions raised;
  5. Facilitate the continued building of a community of urban ecology and planning researchers and practitioners for international collaborative projects.

 

Expected Outcomes

 

1.      The publication of a special issue in Landscape and Urban Planning with contributions from workshop participants—Each participant is expected to submit an essay for publication consideration before the workshop. Also included in the special issue will be 3-5 synthesis papers developed by participants from the workshop discussions.

2.      The continued formation of an international network for urban ecology and sustainability (INUES) researchers and practitioners.

3.      The foundation of an international research institute, Shanghai Institute for Urban Ecology and Sustainability (SIUES), housed at ECNU that aims at fostering trans-disciplinary and multi-national research on important strategic issues in urban ecosystems research and planning.

 

Key Dates

 

January 9th, 2012, workshop descriptions and guide for participants sent

February 17th, 2012, abstract due

March 1st, 2012, acceptance letter sent to authors

September 9th, 2012, full essay due

September 19th, 2012, comments on full essay sent to authors

October 9, 2012, revised essay due

October 24th , 2012, arrival and registration

October 25th—28th, workshop

October 29th – 31th, Young Scholar’s Writing and Mentoring workshop[1]

January 9th, 2013, Special Issue essays due


 
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