Science for the Sustainable City


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Empirical Insights from the Baltimore School of Urban Ecology

Edited by Steward T. A. Pickett, Mary L. Cadenasso, J. Morgan Grove, Elena G. Irwin, Emma J. Rosi, and Christopher M. Swan

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A presentation of key findings and insights from over two decades of research, education, and community engagement in the acclaimed Baltimore Ecosystem Study

In a world of more than seven billion people—who mostly reside in cities and towns—the Baltimore Ecosystem Study is recognized as a pioneer in modern urban social-ecological science. After two decades of research, education, and community engagement, there are insights to share, generalizations to examine, and research needs to highlight. This timely volume synthesizes the key findings, melds the perspectives of different disciplines, and celebrates the benefits of interacting with diverse communities and institutions in improving Baltimore’s ecology. These widely applicable insights from Baltimore contribute to our understanding the ecology of other cities, provide a comparison for the global process of urbanization, and inform establishment of urban ecological research elsewhere. Comprehensive, interdisciplinary, and highly original, it gives voice to the wide array of specialists who have contributed to this living urban laboratory.

Steward Pickett is distinguished senior scientist, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, and director emeritus, Baltimore Ecosystem Study. Mary Cadenasso is professor of landscape and urban ecology, University of California, Davis. J. Morgan Grove is a social scientist with the USDA Forest Service. Elena Irwin is professor of environmental economics, Ohio State University. Emma Rosi is senior scientist, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, and director, Baltimore Ecosystem Study. Christopher M. Swan is professor of ecology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

“A comprehensive account of twenty years of groundbreaking urban ecological research in Baltimore, Maryland, Science for the Sustainable City is refreshingly multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary, bridging the biological and social sciences.”—Frederick Steiner, Dean, Paley Professor, and Co-Executive Director for the Ian L. McHarg Center, University of Pennsylvania School of Design

“Twenty years later, the BES team shows it is still essential that scientists challenge disciplinary silos, build diverse teams, and dare to assert that research be useful to the communities in which it is conducted.”—Stephanie Carlisle, University of Pennsylvania

“Ecological science came late to encompassing the ecology of – rather than just in – cities. Science for the Sustainable City tells the pioneering tale of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study: a compelling revelation of intellectual insights into the intricately interwoven sociological, biological, and physical elements of urban ecology. A must read – urban studies will never be the same.”—Thomas E. Lovejoy, George Mason University

“A seminal work synthesizing social patterns and scientific ecology, the essential steppingstone for future researchers. Lucid writing on a structured/functioning/changing urban-mosaic system bulges with insights, hypotheses, feedbacks, and networks.”—Richard T. T. Forman, Harvard University

"Without the seminal work of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study promoting the study of 'Ecology of the City,' it is likely that my own organization, The Nature Conservancy, would never had created an urban program dedicated to conserving nature of, by, and for the city. Urban ecology was once seen as radical, and now just seems like commonsense. Much of that transition is due to the exciting intellectual achievements of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, and I highly recommend this book as an introduction to their decades of work."—Robert McDonald, author of Conservation for Cities

“The Baltimore Ecosystem Study was a pioneer in many ways—developing long term research on the urban environment based in a single location; integrating social and ecological research to study the city; developing new urban ecological theory. This volume is an exciting synthesis of their twenty-year project. It’s an indispensable and timely resource for anyone interested in the urban challenge of the 21st century. They offer unique insights only possible through more than two decades of study of a single place. It is a must read for all contemporary urban scholars.”—Karen C. Seto, Yale University
ISBN: 9780300238327
Publication Date: October 22, 2019
480 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
73 b/w illus.
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