LECTURE NO: 12
TOPIC: URBAN ECOLOGY
The theme of current lecture is urban ecology. The phrase urban ecology is composed of two entirely different terms i.e. urban and ecology. The one way to understand this theme is to look at both the terms individually and then try to establish a relationship between them. Whereas; the other way to comprehend this phrase is to define it with an earlier established definition and identify its application in town planning. In the following a detailed description of this theme is given.
The term urban means town or a city; whereas; “A city is an agglomerate social organism containing a population of at least 20,000 (UN definition), in a relative density that packages a critical population mass necessary for spawning a variety of value systems, lifestyles, and power constellations. Cities are particularly receptive to, and instrumental in, creating innovation and change. With this capacity for change is introduced various kinds of dysfunctional effects, including cultural, sociological, economic, psychological, and spiritual.”
The term ecology means balance in nature; it is the study of ecosystems. Ecology is derived from the GREEK word "eko" used for household and understanding “logos” meaning an understanding of the "household of life."
If the terms urban and ecology combined together it would mean a town or city where living organisms, species of flora and fauna, communities of human beings, and survive together with interdependency and individualism within their surroundings. In other words the urban context where all kinds of people, plants, birds, and beasts exist together must live in harmony because they are interdependent and their survival with one another in cohesiveness can be termed as urban ecology.
‘Urban Ecology’ is the study of the relationships between organisms, including humans, and the particular opportunities for, and challenges to, their survival presented by cities.
Analysis of urban settings in the context of ecosystem ecology (looking at the cycling of matter and the flow of energy through the ecosystem) hopes to result in healthier, better managed communities. Studying the factors which allow wild plants and animals to survive (and sometimes thrive) in built environments can also create more livable spaces.
The afforementioned description clearly spell out what urban ecology means and how it is related to urban context? There are various institutions related to urban ecology that is working at their local context across the globe. These institutions had developed their own urban models and projects to deal with their urban ecology. Furthermore; they also developed different methodologies of work and instruments to deal with growing problems in their urban ecology. As in our local context of Karachi we (Third Year Civil Engineering Students) have started an attempt for making our city a sustainable one through research; similarly internationally there are various institutions who have initiated their own local attempts for an urban ecology.
- ARCUE Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology