This month three journal articles are recommended by the WUP Knowledge and Research Working Group.
Elmqvist T, Setälä H, Handel S, van der Ploeg S, Aronson J, Blignaut J, Gómez-Baggethun E, Nowak, Kronenberg J, de Groot R.
Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, vol. 14 (2015) pp. 101-108. Elsevier
Abstract: Cities are a key nexus of the relationship between people and nature and are huge centers of demand for ecosystem services and also generate extremely large environmental impacts. Current projections of rapid expansion of urban areas present fundamental challenges and also opportunities to design more livable, healthy and resilient cities (e.g. adaptation to climate change effects). We present the results of an analysis of benefits of ecosystem services in urban areas. Empirical analyses included estimates of monetary benefits from urban ecosystem services based on data from 25 urban areas in the USA, Canada, and China. Our results show that investing in ecological infrastructure in cities, and the ecological restoration and rehabilitation of ecosystems such as rivers, lakes, and woodlands occurring in urban areas, may not only be ecologically and socially desirable, but also quite often, economically advantageous, even based on the most traditional economic approaches.
Danielle F. Shanahan, Richard A. Fuller, Robert Bush, Brenda B. Lin, Kevin J. Gaston
BioScience, Volume 65, Issue 5, 1 May 2015, Pages 476–485
Abstract: Over 30 years of research has shown that urban nature is a promising tool for enhancing the physical, psychological, and social well-being of the world's growing urban population. However, little is known about the type and amount of nature people require in order to receive different health benefits, preventing the development of recommendations for minimum levels of exposure and targeted city planning guidelines for public health outcomes. Dose–response modelling, when a dose of nature is modeled against a health response, could provide a key method for addressing this knowledge gap. In this overview, we explore how “nature dose” and health response have been conceptualized and examine the evidence for different shapes of dose–response curves. We highlight the crucial need to move beyond simplistic measures of nature dose to understand how urban nature can be manipulated to enhance human health.