Urban ecosystems – tapping the human resource

Bastin, Lucy Urban ecosystems – tapping the human resource. IN: The New Optimists: Scientists View Tomorrow's World & What it Means to Us. Richards, Keith (ed.) York: Linus.


In order to take an interest in environmental issues, people need an idea of what ‘the environment’ is, and to have access to something worth caring about. In the UK, around 90% of us already live in towns or cities, and by 2030, around 60% of the world’s population will live in urban areas. But without a vocal set of ‘owners’, public land such as parks and allotments can easily be lost. The majority of the UK's ‘natural’ areas have historically been created, managed or modified by humans. and we should appreciate urban habitats just as much as pristine reserves for the ecosystem services they provide. In particular, scruffy and overlooked brownfield sites can be amazing refugia for insect and plant species which can no longer persist in a countryside dominated by industrialised agriculture.


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