Monday, February 13, 2012

Applying principles of Landscape Ecology to Green Infrastructure planning

By: Dr. Janet Jackson

Since human settlement began decisions to build and develop have to greater or lesser extent been influenced by the availability and accessibility of natural resources in cities, towns and rural communities. Current planning policies require an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on developments that meet certain criteria of risk. However, actual long term and accumulative impacts of development on indigenous flora, fauna at local and landscape scale and on ecological processes are rarely monitored and understood. This year, at the Iale World Conference, several papers were using spatial tools and scientific principles associated with Landscape Ecology and were asking how urban developments influenced local wildlife and ecological processes. These included the emergence of 'Road ecology' (Forman, 2007), beetle assemblages across urbanrural gradients (Niemelä, 2007) and response of birds to increased urbanisation (Hepinstall et al.2007). Currently planning professionals are increasingly required to estimate the social, economic and environmental impact of development on flooding, climate change and carbon consumption and it is probably the most opportune time to promote landscape ecology as a discipline that can take the spatial and temporal perspective on land use, biodiversity and the strategic planning of ecosystem services.

more about landscape:


Naturalistic forest landscape in urban areas: challenges and solutions

Seattle: The Stranger Finds the Loophole, But Proposes the Wrong Way of Closing It

Driving Green: LA flush with freeway cap park proposals

Urban Resilience: Research Prospectus, A Resilience Alliance Initiative for Transitioning Urban Systems towards Sustainable Futures

Urban Nation: Australia's Planning Heritage

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