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About this product Product Information First published in Additional Product Features Dewey Edition. Show More Show Less. Any Condition Any Condition. See all 9. Ratings and Reviews Write a review. Most relevant reviews. Typically an ecosystem as defined in this manner contains more than a single land use or land cover type e. Here again, it is not too difficult to argue that urban areas have unifying land use characteristics and under this definition, could easily fit under the definition of ecosystem.

The perception of cities as ecosystems, some would argue, has been most significantly troubled by the evident separation of the natural and the anthropocentric. This has lead them and other to suggest workable and productive directions for ecological systems analysis i. This seemingly is the direction that the MA is moving. That is, according to the MA, an ecosystem can be a lake, watershed, or political province.

Further, the MA board has recognized that urban areas impact the other ecosystems and has made an attempt to place them within the ecosystem assessment framework Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Board, , tab 3, p. What is, what types of things do cities provide that human essentially need?

The MA is concerned with services. Therefore members of the Board are currently reviewing the types of services to be addressed by sub-global assessments. This list picks up soil quality and carbon sequestration implicitly because they are linked to water food and timber. Genetic diversity and pollination are linked to food production. Therefore, this shorter list is a useful compression of all the goods and services in the longer list. For example, invasive species may affect water, food and timber production.

Trans-boundary air pollutants affect air quality. Within the urban ecosystem literature, a number of goods and services have been defined. At first look at these categories suggests not much room for those provided by urban areas. Regulation of global temperature, Climate precipitation, and other biologically Greenhouse gas regulation, DMS 2 regulation mediated climatic processes at global or production affecting cloud formation.

Storm protection, flood control, Capacitance, damping and integrity of Disturbance drought recovery and other aspects of 3 ecosystem response to environmental regulation habitat response to fluctuations. Provisioning of water for agricultural Water 4 Regulation of hydrological flows.

Provisioning of water by watersheds, 5 Water supply Storage and retention of water. Prevention of loss of soil by wind, Erosion runoff, or other removal 6 control and Retention of soil within an ecosystem. Nutrient Storage, internal cycling, processing and Nitrogen fixation, N, P and other 8 cycling acquisition of nutrients. Recovery of mobile nutrients and removal Waste or breakdown of excess or xenic nutrients and Waste treatment, pollution control, 9 treatment compounds.

Provisioning of pollinators for the 10 Pollination Movement of floral gametes. Keystone predator control of prey Biological Trophic-dynamic regulations of 11 species, reduction of herbivory by top control populations. Nurseries, habitat for migratory Refugia Habitat for resident and transient species, regional habitats for 12 populations.

Production of fish, game, crops, nuts, Food That portion of gross primary production 13 fruits by hunting, gathering, production extractable as food. That portion of gross primary production The production of lumber, fuel or Raw 14 extractable as raw materials. Eco-tourism, sport fishing, and other 16 Recreation Providing opportunities for recreational outdoor recreational activities. They did not include food production and erosion control, among other natural services, probably because of the types of cities they investigated. Other authors have gone further than Bolund and Hunhammar and suggest that the distinction between the natural, food producing countryside, and the barren urban area is a culturally constructed one Schell and Ulijaszek, , pointing to the city-farming areas of many Asian and African cities Forster, This contrast between the presence and absence of food-production within the city is just one of a range of differences in processes and perceptions of urban areas in different parts of the world.

Others scholars prefer to examine metropolitan regions as an extended urban ecosystem Gulinck, , including nutrient and food production in its hinterlands Krausmann, These studies suggest that there are even more services that cities provide if you examine a large area within which they are defined. This issue of scale is the third to tackle. This necessarily means that assessments of ecosystems at different scales will necessarily need to nest within each other and the outcomes of each urban ecosystems assessment should inform those of other scales.

Urban ecosystems have been understood to work in a number of different ways. They are viewed as a single aerial unit containing interacting species and their local, non- biological environment functioning together to sustain life. This unit has been then been further decomposed into several individual ecosystems, e. Indeed, the term urban ecosystem has often been used strictly as pertaining to the natural green and blue areas in the city. While urban areas, like most other ecosystems, can be de-constructed into a set of smaller scale ecosystems, cities have been studied as a single unit in terms of, for example, their energy use.

Therefore the MA itself will provide a unique contribution to knowledge. These types of analysis approach urban ecosystems analysis by way of the inputs and outputs of the city as a way to understand the metabolism of the system. Currently, the metabolism of an average city of one million people is defined by the consumption of , tonnes of water, tonnes of food and tonnes of fuel, and the generation of , tonnes of wastewater, tones of waste solids and tonnes of air pollutants Haughton and Hunter, At a larger scale, urban ecosystems can as viewed as units that exercise tremendous impacts on other areas Folke, Jansson, Larsson, and Costanza, ; Rees and Wackernagel, That is, urban ecosystems, because of their intensive resource use and waste production, impact hinterlands as well as natural ecosystems that are geographically distant from them.

In this case the focus of the ecosystem analysis is beyond the urban areas borders. Hence, the study of urban ecosystems depends upon the scale within which it is viewed. Recent years have seen increased work in this field by an assortment of disciplines, as a growing number and diversity of studies performed under the purview of urban ecosystem analysis have been undertaken.

Ecologists have been slow to participate in these studies. One recent survey suggested that only 0. At the same time, interest in this field has prompted some biologist to explore the reasons why others should work in cities McDonnell and Pickett, , while others have created new urban-related areas of ecology study Pickett and Cadenasso, Recently, the eight Cary Conference, held at the Institute of Ecosystems Studies, focused on the theme of understanding urban ecosystems, in which 91 ecologist educators, economists, anthropologists, sociologists and geographers participated Nilon, Berkowitz, and Hollweg, It is increasingly obvious that work in this field, even by biologists, is growing and a substantial body of literature is developing.

Any global assessment of urban ecosystems must be informed by these studies. While we by no means claim that this is an exhaustive search, it has given us an idea of the range of studies and the different approaches used within the emerging discipline. We have categorized these studies by the approaches taken to urban ecosystem. Three general types emerged including 1 health, environment and the city; 2 city as ecosystem; and, 3 city as modifier of ecosystems.

A further description of these categories and the work included is discussed later in this paper. The point made here is that there is serious work being performed by a growing number of scholars in this field. We believe that this work can make a valuable contribution to the MA. The Basis of the Urban Ecosystem Assessment Framework: the Urban Environmental Transition Model The framework for the assessment of urban ecosystems must include issues of varying goods and services, scales, and impacts.

Urban ecosystems are neither uniform in their environmental impacts on other ecosystems nor in their internal environments. Certain generalized trends can be deciphered. Indeed, as cities develop, they consume resources from further away from their boundaries and produce wastes that impact larger areas. The immediate question arises, are there any patterns to these urban problems? One way to determine patterns, advocated largely by economists, is through the relationship between income GDP per capita and environmental conditions. This notion suggests that as national incomes rise, environmental problems first get worse and then better.

Separating the Environmental Problems among Different Locations Using the Environmental Kuznets Curves As can be surmised, the idea that environmental problems will worsen with the early phases of industrialization and thereafter lessen with increased wealth had its origin in 7 In this view, the assessment of urban ecosystems is closely linked with the Urban Environmental Transitions debate.

Simply, the quantities of goods and services that a city extracts from natural ecosystems ecological footprint depend on the socioeconomic level of the urban area. And the nature of urban metabolism determines the nature and the spread of the pollutants, which again is a function of socioeconomic level.

See for exampleMcGranahan, G.

What is Political Ecology? - Culture, Power, and Global Environment

Sustainability, poverty and urban environmental transitions. Satterthwaite Ed. Earthscan, London.. In a seminal article he outlined a theory that as national wealth increases, the distribution of household incomes first diverges and later converges Kuznets, Using a historical analysis of the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Germany, he revealed that income distributions, during most of the 20th century, were becoming more equal. This is despite some trends that would tend toward the opposite result. He further confirmed his analysis through national cross-sectional data studies that resulted in similar results.

His final conclusions were that despite the fact that the paper was based upon 95 percent speculation and 5 percent empirical information and some wishful thinking that inequality in secular incomes increases and then decreases with development. The ravages of rapid industrialization were becoming evident from the USA to Japan. That is, they saw the current set of 8 Simon Kuznets received the Noble Prize for his empirically founded interpretation of economic growth, which has led to new and deepened insight into the economic and social structure, and process of development.

Subsequent studies in the USA after significant changes in the Bretten Woods agreements in the early s, suggested that rather than converging incomes were increasingly diverging. As hinted by James Mittelman in a seminar at the UNU, December , there is a reason why the USA, one of the first and foremost globalized countries is also a very income polarized nation. A debate began on the relationship between the economy and the environment. As the USA underwent industrial re-structuring, which included the movement of industries out of Northeast to southern and western states and then to overseas, some suggested that environmental laws had played significant role in this movement.

In the developing world, as the four tigers and ASEAN began to grow in the late s they also underwent an environmental transition. By the late s, environmental problems in the region were perceived as one of its greatest challenges Asian Development Bank, ; Elliott, The debates over the perceived problems with environmental laws and the impacts of development on the environment in rapidly industrializing countries provoked a set of studies that explored the relationship between environmental conditions and growing affluence.

By the early s a consensus was building. Studies, by Grossman and Krueger , for example, suggested that economic growth was ultimately good for the environment as countries could grow out of any problems that might arise. Other studies, such as those mentioned by Kirk Smith , demonstrated that national energy intensity use followed the inverted U shape Figure 1. This decline in TPs suggests that countries are learning from each other through technological breakthroughs. In fact, as the Worldwatch Institute has described in their annual Vital Signs reports, oil and gas consumption continue to rise.

In oil consumption grew at 1. See Brown, L. This is from a recent article by Yujiro Hayami where in a 25 country-cross-sectional study the resultant function resembles a quadratic formula with respect to GNP per capita. For example, Grossman and Krueger , p. From confrontation to cooperation on the conservation of global environment.

Asian Economic Journal 14 2 , Instead of environment setting the limits to growth, these conclusions suggest that growth is required for environmental improvement! Since the early s a further series of studies have been conducted to test the EKC hypothesis. Scholars in these institutions were not satisfied with the suggestion that wealth will ultimately bring cleaner environments began work to flesh out and further enhance the EKC relationship.

In a recent text that sums up 10 years of research in this field, Gordon McGranahan and his collaborators present a persuasive argument concerning the relationship between development, affluence and the urban environment. Their claims are that urban environmental burdens tend to be more dispersed and delayed in more affluent settings Figure 2. Dividing cities into three income categories, they argue that the dominant environmental problems in low- income cities are localized, immediate and health threatening.

The environmental challenges of middle-income cities are citywide or regional, somewhat more delayed, and a threat to both health and ecological sustainability. Finally, affluent cities must meet the challenges of global, intergenerational and environmental threats to ecological sustainability.

As the three charts in Figure 3 demonstrate, there is a relationship among the following variables, all calculated for per capita income, percent access to water, SO2 emissions per capita and CO2 emission per capita. These data, taken from World Resources Institute and the World Bank demonstrate the outlines of the urban environmental transition.

The one variable used, access to safe water is simply a proxy for the entire group of variables. The trend of increasing access with wealth, generally provides the trajectory for all the other variables within this agenda, although the similarities between variables do not match exactly. In general, however, these types of problems decline with increasing affluence only to be replaced by those associated with rapid industrialization, such as SO2 emissions. This relationship represents the decreasing environmental quality associated with rapid development, followed by increasing environmental quality, once some turning point is reached.

This turning point, is believed to be a function of increased environmental regulations, as experienced in Japan Sawa, , as these types of pollutants, largely from the end-of-pipes, also decline in intensity. Finally, these environmental challenges are replaced by consumption related burdens such as CO2 emissions and waste production. Increased CO2 emissions within cities are the partial result of an increase in automobile ownership and usage.

Waste production is a result of urban lifestyles and increased consumption on almost all levels. When these three curves are overlaid one upon another they resemble the relationships defined by the urban environmental transition. McGranahan et al , has been quick to point out that the urban environmental transition model reflects predisposing rather than predetermined outcomes and that affluence is only one factor, among many, impacting the environmental conditions in cities.

For example, some cities are better managed than others and therefore all cities at the same income level do not experience the same levels of pollution. As such, environmental burdens are seen as the unintended consequences of human activity and the complex interplay of physical and socio- economic systems as opposed to the reflection of human preferences at different levels of development.

The poor do not prefer environmentally degraded environments to better environments; rather their environmental conditions are unwanted outcomes of their everyday activities and the institutions that define their societies. While affluence affects the environmental quality of a city, there are clearly political and social influences that play an important role.

The urban environmental transition demonstrates the great practical significant of understanding the relationship between development processes and urban environmental challenges and points the way to further work in this area. Currently there is a debate, for example, among scholars, development specialists and practitioners concerning the different priorities of cities throughout the world.

Therefore, there is an need for an assessment of urban ecosystems that would incorporate all levels of cities, both developed and less-developed, in order to refine the understanding of the interconnections that they have with each-other and the natural processes with which they co-exist. The predictive power of this model can be harnessed as the basis of a framework within which studies of urban ecosystems can be organized. Further, because it incorporates scale and a shifting focus on different environmental issues at different levels of income, it can be useful in helping to coordinate an effort to input urban ecosystem assessments into larger assessment efforts.

Given that urban areas have impacts at different scales there are accompanying problems in the approach to the assessment of urban areas. There is special interest among some assessment groups the MA for example in defining the impact linkages between urban activities and their wider hinterlands and other distant ecosystems. Louis Lebel , suggested that issues of air and water quality in cities are key ecological issues that should be a central part of the assessment.

The MA board is aware of this. During the first Technical Workshop MA interest in urban areas was present, but the immediate questions from participants was how can urban ecosystems be incorporated into the MA in a meaningful way i. To begin to answer this question, we present Figure 4, as a framework within which information, data and various city studies can be understood in terms of ecosystems assessments. The framework is presented as a matrix.

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Under these columns in rows are suggested issues of importance in terms of inserting urban ecosystems into the MA. The first is the focus of the spatial scale, meaning the most appropriate scale within with to carry out an urban ecosystem assessment for the type of city.

While the scale level may be at the village or neighborhood level for low income areas such as those in parts of Africa and Asia , an important scale issue for affluent high income cities is to assess their impacts on the metro-region, region and even globe. The next two rows should be viewed simultaneously. The ecosystem focus and the dominant environmental issues that should be assessed will also vary by socio- economic status.

The second row identifies some of the key issues. Therefore, those included in the low-income assessment should focus largely on health and particularly on infectious diseases. Those on rapidly industrializing cities should focus on air and water quality and pollution. Those on affluent cities should focus on a variety of ways in which cities modify other ecosystems and how this can be changed. We do not, however, suggest that this be followed strictly as it is important to understand how developing cities can avoid the problems currently experienced by higher income cities.

Those in low-income areas have concentrated on poverty and human health. Those in rapidly industrializing cities and high income cities have concentrated on urban metabolism studies and those in high income cities have begun to quantify the extent of ecosystem appropriation as well as how to reduce this impact. In the various columns are different types of indicators that might be compiled to make the assessments of each of the aspects of the PSR model.

Of course, it is expected that many more indicators will be added to this very brief list. As mentioned we have classified these efforts into three types based upon their approach: health, environment and city, city as ecosystem and city as modifier of ecosystem to correspond to the framework provided in the previous section. This section reviews some of the literature in the field in an attempt to argue that it can be organized in such a way as to be compatible with that of the framework presented.

Human health is dependent upon the health of the planet and of natural ecosystems. At one level, urbanization itself is a key variable in the health equation and related to the ecosystems approach. For example, when pollution produced by human activities in densely populated areas outstrips the absorptive capacity of the local ecosystem, adverse health effects can increase, particularly in places where controls are lacking or unreliable WHO, as cited in Hancock, Before this time and more importantly in the midst of the urban transition, morality was substantially higher in cities particularly larger cities than in rural places and only declined with advances in public works improvements and public health science.

The passing of this morality transition with the help of infrastructure and medical advances, did not do away with environmental harms, but rather displaced the worst impacts on the larger region and at the same time promoted the progress in treatments. This makes the study of urban ecosystems and health an effective way to understanding the linkages between urban activities and health issues.

Health is important to all of urban citizens around the world. As suggested by the framework, the types, severity and spatial dimension of health risks vary with increasing affluence. They suggest that, in general, the world is a more hazardous place than ever before. These dangers, in the developed world, are increasingly spatially focused in their inner cities and highly correlated to income.

One important link between the urban ecosystem and health is that of traffic and related air pollution from burning fossil fuels. This is of concern to cities in the developed world as it is to those industrializing cities of the developing world, where it is a major health issue. For example, within some cities of the developing world almost percent of air pollutants are contributed by vehicular emissions.

For those in least developed cities and poor neighborhoods in cities of the developing world, health, water and sanitation are priority issues. Indeed, for cities in the developed world, these are the dominant ecosystem challenges. Household sanitation and access to water is the most important environmental issue in these cities and neighborhoods, as pollution of water with human excreta and other wastes is a major problem.

Further, while primarily a rural issue, indoor air pollution may also affect tens of millions of people in Third World Cities Satterthwaite, Not only does ecosystem health translate into a concern over the integrity of natural systems but it also encompasses the complex interplay among the environment and socio- economic, cultural and political conditions among people living in an urban area Hancock, While health issues are important to all urban ecosystems they shift in emphasis and spatial scale with increasing wealth as is described in the framework.

Important health risks for those cities that are industrializing are those related to outdoor air pollution often associated with increasing motorization. At the same time, the activities of these areas are increasingly impacting the larger geographic units. Those exploring the issues of health and cities are increasingly turning to an ecological or ecosystems approach. According to some the best guide to health-focused urban system management is found in the WHO Healthy Cities and Communities movement, where are directly applicable to an urban systems management approach for health Goldstein, ; Hancock, Including urban ecosystems into larger ecosystem assessments can go a long way in promoting this effort.

The City as Ecosystem: Urban Metabolism, Urban Ecology and the Bio-physical Environment Understanding the city as an ecosystem began with two different, but related types of studies. On one hand urban metabolism research generated a holistic view of city as a consumer and digester of resources and a creator of waste products. On the other, the urban ecologists began to explore the city as a natural environment Hough, ; Beatley, a.

Urban metabolism started as an organic analogy of urban processes. Abe Wolman suggested that in order to overcome shortages of water and pollution of water and air the city should be viewed as an organic body with metabolic processes. Their approach to research on urban settlements is to look at them as ecosystems and examine the complex interactions that take place within them rather than studying specific problems in isolation.

This technique is illustrated by flow of important materials into and through Hong Kong Figure 5. These studies also demonstrate the essentially linear nature of current urban metabolic processes. Resources flow though the urban system with little concern about their origin or about the destination of wastes. Folke and his collaborators note that waste is the greatest form of human ecosystem appropriation, far exceeding the amount of natural resources used for production.

Note: These figures quantify London's resource use. They are listed to emphasize the huge potential for greater resource efficiency. London's waste output could be used as a significant resource for new recycling and energy efficiency industries, for example. This model is markedly different from that found in nature circular metabolism. It also provides a format for which and cities can be re-envisioned to operate and function in natural ways, similar to natural ecosystems see for example, Hough, ; Beatley, b.

Research along these lines has looked at how urban design impacts the ecosystem dynamics Alberti, , biodiversity Savard, and urban forestry Rowntree , among other issues. Indeed, the interdependency of industrial and natural ecosystems has even been explored Korhonen, In this case the researcher was looking for the optimal situation, where the industrial sub systems and the mother ecosystem cooperate and develop together. Further, the concept of urban ecology has lead some to note that urban ecosystems can also provide essential services to people, including air and water purification, noise reduction, food, clothes and shelter to urban dwellers Bolund and Hunhammar, More recently, Huang et al also argue that industrial urban ecosystems are heterotrophic systems that rely on the surrounding landscapes for life support services.

Thus, they identify a systems hierarchy in the Taipei metropolitan region between the central business district, and the surrounding districts, according to the level of development and economic activity, and therefore the level of energy-use. They have also been performed in affluent cities, although a growing number are being performed in rapidly industrializing cities Hong Kong, Taipei, Bangkok, among others.

The focus on high-income and rapidly industrializing cities may be related to the perceived environmental needs of those cities by researchers. One seeming exception to this trend is the role of urban agriculture, which is studied both in and around smaller towns and the fringes of larger cities in the developed world Dorney, ; Beatley, b and in developing world cities United Nations Development Programme, The difference is that in developed world cities, particularly in Europe, these farms are for education and recreation purposes Beatley, b , while those in the developing world are there to feed their citizens.

This literature suggests that cities are increasingly linked to each other through flows of goods, services, investment, finance, people and knowledge. At the same time, cities are also linked, as suggested above, through their ecological interdependencies, as the activities in some cities, largely those of the developed world, are increasingly impacting ecosystems elsewhere. As studies demonstrated the linear paths of energy, material and biological flows through cities, some scholars began to look into their sources and final destinations.

Some argued that the dependent city analogy was not completely correct. Modern commercial agriculture and the modern rural communities, in western developed countries at least, depend on urban products, services and consumer expenditure as much as on their own natural resources. The urban ecosystem is thus part of a set of interdependent ecosystems all essential for the adequate support of human life.

He observes how cities such as Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur have intensified agriculture in the areas immediately adjacent to the cities, and also developed longer and longer supply lines for essential foodstuffs with urban growth. These can be seen across a range of spatial scales. Those in the LA Basin have been altering the structure of the urban forest by adding 25 percent more trees in an attempt to bring benefits including a more amenable summer mesoclimate, savings in energy, and reductions in storm runoff, which could avoid the spending of millions of dollars for additional flood control infrastructure.

The water for those trees, however, is likely come from the Mono Lake Basin on the east side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Yosemite Park, hundreds of miles to the north. Preserving the level of Mono Lake by restricting additional water removals from that basin is a very high priority political objective for many people, and organizations, in California. Understanding these dependency relationships and coupled ecosystems brings new insights for policy makers Rowntree. This more systematic view of ecosystem effects caused by distant changes is illustrative of the importance of examining urban ecosystems on a wider scale.

From these studies, further attempts have been made to quantify the impact of resource consumption by cities. Some have extrapolated specific findings in cities to the global scale. The footprint of a city is the amount of land needed to create the resources needed for current consumption levels and that needed to assimilate wastes see Figure 7. The urban metabolic rates for London as suggested in Table 3, for example, were converted into land use requirements Table 4. This suggests that London demands space the size of the UK for its metabolism. These calculations demonstrate that the planet will surely run out of space before all cities in the world achieve the resource requirements and waste assimilation needs of London.

Note: London's ecological footprint, following the definition of William Rees, consists of the land area required to supply London with food fibre and wood products, and the area of growing vegetation needed to reabsorb London's carbon dioxide output. Another set of studies has demonstrated been performed on the increasing emissions of affluent cities in terms of global greenhouse gases. Ravetz for example, has estimated that the Greater Manchester Region of the UK is responsible for 32 million tones of CO2 emission per year, largely from coal-fired power generation, but increasingly from road and air transport.

Notwithstanding the importance of these findings, the studies remain piecemeal in the approach to understanding the global significance of urban ecosystems. The large gaps in our understanding are related to the empirical gaps in research. Indeed, it is difficult to undertake studies that link flows from city to city. Cities are key to the promotion of global sustainability, yet we are only beginning to understand the ways in which their activities, in are impacting the local, region and global ecosystems.

Ecological Landscape Design

Towards Inserting Urban Ecosystems Assessments in the MA Before answering the question of how urban ecosystem assessment should be inserted into the MA, the question of what aspects of urban environmental conditions should be assessed must be answered. There are, at least, three general categories of areas where data collection can be concentrated. We believe that the framework provided helps to organize the inclusion of these sets of data.

To be meaningful to the MA, urban ecosystems studies must also be incorporated into the larger assessment as they have been evolving. That is, through the methodology that the MA Board is developing.

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One way of beginning to address this issue is to identify the outputs from the MA and demonstrate how urban ecosystem assessments might fit into these products. As is currently being discussed within the MA, the effort will produce a series of products that will come from 4 different working groups.

These groups are called the plausible future and scenarios group, the response options group, the trends and conditions group and the assessment group. The questions that are of interest to these groups can be identified in the first draft of the Millennium Ecosystem assessment User Needs Outline see www.

These reports will be based upon the methodologies agreed upon by the entire MA. They must also be coordinated so that they are usable between groups. While it is not too difficult to jump suggest complementarities between urban ecosystem assessment products suggested by the framework provided in this paper and those of the various working groups, the details of inputs needs much discussion.

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That is, the suggested direction of work is in need of further elaboration, which can only be accomplished through close dialogue with the MA Board members. This report it is hoped will provide for a critical examination as to the viability of including urban ecosystems within the project and begin to flesh out a way in which this can be accomplished. The Way Forward: Research Agenda Notwithstanding the MA and urban ecosystem assessments, the framework also suggests a research agenda. There are three general aspects of this agenda that might be of interest to scholars in this field.

Below is an outline of some important questions that need to be addressed. These questions intersect with the goals of the urban ecosystem assessment and can form a basis of future collaboration. These questions include: 1 What are some of the basic substantive questions concerning urban ecosystems that should be included in a larger assessment process and under what themes? What are the differences of consumption levels and waste assimilation requirement for urban areas of the different types levels of income 2 What are the critical goods and services in an urban ecosystem context?

From where in terms of ecosystems do the resources consumed in urban areas at different socio-economic levels come from? How do these goods and services vary with socio-economic income including health, food products, water, etc? How do these wastes impact the marginal value of goods and services provided by urban ecosystems and how do these wastes impact other ecosystems?