Improving city life: Options for ecological restoration in urban landscapes and how these might influence interactions between people and nature

Rachel J. Standish, Richard J. Hobbs, James R. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The role of humans in the restoration of ecosystems has been emphasised since its inception. The human dimension of restoration is particularly well established in urban ecosystems because this is where people and nature co-exist. At the same time, the altered biophysical conditions that characterise cities place constraints on restoration in its strictest sense-assisting the recovery of historic ecosystems. Rather than viewing this as a shortcoming, in this paper, we discuss the ways in which such constraints can be viewed as opportunities. There is the chance to broaden traditional conservation and restoration goals for urban settings reflecting peoples' preferences for nature in their backyards, and in doing so, offer people multiple ways in which to engage with nature. In this paper, we consider four main restoration options-conserve and restore nature at the fringes, restore remnant patches of urban nature, manage novel ecosystems and garden with iconic species-in terms of their potential to contribute to promoting human-nature interactions in urban landscapes. We explore how these options are affected by environmental, economic, social and cultural factors, drawing on examples from cities around the world. Ecological restoration can contribute to the sustainability of urban landscapes, not just in terms of nature conservation, but also by providing opportunities for people to interact with nature and so increase our understanding of how people perceive and value landscapes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1213-1221
Number of pages9
JournalLandscape Ecology
Volume28
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2013

Keywords

  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Cultural services
  • Ecosystem services
  • Human well-being
  • Human-nature interactions
  • Novel ecosystems
  • Urban ecology
  • Urban ecosystems
  • Urban green space
  • Urban planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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