Urban ecosystem health assessment: A review

Su M, Fath BD, & Yang Z (2010). Urban ecosystem health assessment: A review. Science of the Total Environment 408 (12): 2425-2434. DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2010.03.009.

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Abstract

Due to the important role of cities for regional, national, and international economic development an the concurrent degradation of the urban environmental quality under rapid urbanization, a systematic diagnosis of urban ecosystem health for sustainable ecological management is urgently needed. This paper reviews the related research on urban ecosystem health assessment, beginning from the inception of urban ecosystem health concerns propelled by the development needs ofurban ecosystems and the advances in ecosystem health research. Concepts, standards, indicators, models, and case studies are introduced and discussed. Urban ecosystem health considers the integration of ecological, economic, social and human health factors, and as such it is a value-driven concept which is strongly influenced by human perceptions. There is not an absolute urban ecosystem standard because of the uncertainty caused by the changing human needs, targets, and expectation of urban ecosystem over time; thus, suitable approaches are still needed to establish health standards of urban ecosystems. Several conceptual models and suitable indicator frameworks have been proposed to organize the multiple factors to represent comprehensively the health characteristics of an urban ecosystem, while certain mathematical methods have been applied to deal with the indicator information to get a clear assessment of the urban ecosystem health status. Instead of perceiving the urban ecosytem assessment as an instantaneous measurement of the health state, it is suggested to conceptualize the urban ecosystem health as a process, which impels us to focus more studies on the dynamic trends of health status and projecting possible development scenarios.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Urban ecosystem health; Health assessment; Ecosystem indicators; Ecosystem model
Research Programs: Dynamic Systems (DYN)
Bibliographic Reference: Science of the Total Environment; 408(12):2425-2434 (15 May 2010) (Published online 26 March 2010)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:44
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2016 08:42
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/9255

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