Urban ecology in the context of sustainability transformation – from concepts to interventions

Chair:  Martina Artmann  (m.artmann@ioer.de)
Co-chair:  Chris Ives  (Chris.Ives@nottingham.ac.uk)
                  Markus Egermann  (m.egermann@ioer.de)

Short  Description:
Cities are sources for sustainability challenges and seedbeds for sustainability transformation at the same time. As we live in an urban century and an era of exceeding planetary boundaries, research in sustainability transformation can provide crucial insights into dynamics and patterns of radical and systemic change addressing sustainability in cities. Besides, by considering cities as socio-ecological systems, urban ecology is a key research community to produce and strengthen knowledge and implementation of sustainable urban development worldwide. However, urban ecology as an interdisciplinary discipline that is based on multiple theories, concepts and research approaches is lacking a coordinated and explicit conceptualization of its interlinkages with the field of sustainability transformation – and vice versa.
By linking urban ecology with sustainability transformation, such research can address several layers of transformation including:
• Transformation-oriented urban ecology studies addressing goals relevant for sustainability transformation (e.g., related with climate change, social cohesion, sustainable consumption).
• Transformation research explicitly linking theories, concepts and methods from urban ecology and sustainability transformation (e.g., urban human-nature connection as leverage for sustainability transformation, nature-based solutions or ecosystem services in the interface of sustainability transformation, urban ecological niches)
• Transformative research stimulating transformation processes in urban socio-ecological systems (e.g., real world laboratories, urban transition labs, transdisciplinary research).
The overall aim of this interdisciplinary session is to foster a discussion between the various disciplines in the field of urban ecology and sustainability transformation by inviting talks to the different layers of transformation presented above. We consider this session as a starting point to strengthen both, research in sustainability transformation and urban ecology, for advancing sustainable urban trajectories in theory and practice.