We are very pleased to present the following keynote speakers.
Title: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Urban Areas for Smart Adaptation to the Climate Change – “Do You Kyoto?”
Dr. Yukihiro Morimoto (Japan)
Professor, Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies
Kyoto, the city where the Kyoto Protocol was adopted, proposed to ask people “Do you Kyoto?” aiming for a low-carbon society. However, beyond reduction in carbon dioxide emission, we should pay more attention to biodiversity that has been the basis of this sustainable city that celebrates ecosystem services. For obtaining an ecosystem-dependent design solution, biodiversity is an essential natural capital to be reassessed from the viewpoint of smart adaptation to climate change. On the other hand, species that are good indicators of attractive landscapes exist in Kyoto, and these landscapes have been nurtured in a long history of land use and landscape design and management benefiting the natural environment. Landscape ecological studies on shrine forests, Japanese gardens, and other green spaces in Kyoto city show that the historical multilevel mosaic city of Kyoto has diverse suggestions to enjoy the benefits of its biocultural diversity, which is on the verge of extinction. We suggest that “Do you Kyoto?” should also question the innovative design with nature.
Title: Planning and Design of Ecological Network in Urban Areas
Dr. Maria Ignatieva (New Zealand)
Professor, School of Landscape Architecture
Ecological networks in cities are very complicated phenomena. Greenways and blue ways are very traditional parts of urban infrastructure. There are also a lot of opportunities in industrial areas, transportation corridors and wastelands which could also be considered as important and significant parts of urban ecological networks. Cities of the Old and New Worlds have quite a few historical prototypes of planning and design of urban green areas that aim to improve urban hygiene and aesthetics. This presentation will examine such historical examples. A new multidisciplinary approach to planning and design of ecological networks in contemporary cities is needed to allow connectivity within the urban structures and with surrounding natural, semi natural and rural environments. New models of urban ecological networks should fulfil functions of improving biodiversity, aesthetical cultural identity and be an important framework for creating sustainable cities. Innovative planning and design approaches should be researched for successful implementation of a new generation of ecological networks.
Title: Management, Conservation, and Urban Biodiversity
Dr. Charles H. Nilon (U.S.A)
Professor, University of Missouri
Ecologists, social scientists, planners, land managers, and residents often debate the meaning of urban biodiversity. These debates focus on the impacts of urbanization on species and habitats and on different meanings and interpretations ranging from an emphasis on rare species and habitats, to an emphasis on all species an habitats in a city. Many ecologists define biodiversity in an urban region as the group of species occurring in a given region, the habitats that support those species, and the process that maintain those habitats. They note that biodiversity in cities means different things at different scales that range from a single lot to a large region surrounding a a city. This keynote presentation will describe approaches to conserving regional biodiversity and approaches to managing processes and habitats that maintain biodiversity at different scales. The presentation will build on applied research on urban biodiversity and that research is being reflected on management efforts.
Title: Restoration of Wetland Ecosystem for Enhancing Urban Biodiversity
Dr. Kwi-Gon Kim (Korea)
Professor, Seoul National University
Director, International Urban Training Center supported by UN-HABITAT
Wetlands, defined as transitional areas between uplands and aquatic areas are sources of urban biodiversity. However, wetlands face a barrage of threats from urban development. Despite of a plethora of laws, regulations and programs to protect them, wetlands are likely to encounter increasing development pressure.
Wetlands mitigation for any activity can be taken to avoid or minimize damage to wetlands, and to restore, enhance or create wetlands as well. This presentation will explore many of the current issues in wetland mitigation, and describe wetland mitigation strategies with case studies provided for illustration. It will include some general guidelines for successful wetlands mitigation based primarily on existing literature review in several cities.
Title: The Ecology of Urban Areas and Their Function for Species Diversity
Mr. Peter Werner (Germany)
Senior Researcher, the Institute for Housing and Environment in Darmstadt
Although the relationship between the urban environment and the occurrence of plants and animals is well known both in general (e. g. the characteristics of urban flora and fauna with respect to the urban heat island) and in detail for some cities and towns (e. g. comprehensive surveys of Berlin, Chiba, New York) or for specific urban habitats (e. g. city parks, railways, cemeteries), nevertheless great problems exist to understand the variety of the species diversity of different cities. The complexity of the ecology of urban areas, i. e. the variety of determinants and the spatial and temporal dynamic of cities, preclude simple starting points and lines of explanations. Due to that, we have a lack of sufficient comparisons between various cities. In my presentation, I will demonstrate which approaches and methods are needed to get a better understanding of the relationship between pattern and processes of cities and the species diversity.
Title: Landscape Ecology and Urban Biodiversity in Tropical Country
Dr. Hadi Susilo Arifin (Indonesia)
Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture
Bogor Agricultural University (IPB)
Indonesia is archipelago country stretching from the west to the east. Landscapes, land uses and land covers are changing rapidly in response to a variety of economic, demographic and policy factors, especially after economic and political crises. Landscape changes due to changes in agricultural activities toward industrialization, urbanization, and commercial agricultural land have become serious matters in the most populated island, Java. The urban landscape depends on the surrounding area, such as suburban, rural, and bio-regional landscapes that are shown on ecological watershed units. The uniqueness of urban biodiversity is influenced by the ecological networks among land uses in rural, suburban and urban landscapes. Therefore, ecological landscape management among rural, suburban, urban and regional scales should be integrated in the planning based on the landscape unit, a landscape with a variety of physiographic characteristics within a watershed, from the upper stream to the downstream. Biodiversity conservation is an object related to environmental services.
Title: Natural Capital and Indicators of Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity in Urban Landscapes
Dr. Thomas Elmqvist (Sweden)
Professor, Dept. of Systems Ecology, and Stockholm Resilience Centre
The constantly evolving urban landscape is a complex mosaic of human modifications, metabolic flows, networks and built structures and understanding how urban ecosystems work, how they change, and what limits their performance, add to the understanding of ecosystem change and governance in general in an ever more human-dominated world. Today, cities are facing enormous challenges, e.g. climate change and transformation to a future beyond fossil fuels. Urban ecosystems may have a large role in facilitating this transformation, since ecosystems provide flexibility in urban landscapes and help build adaptive capacity to cope with e.g. increased temperature and changing precipitation and through multiple other ecosystem services that promote human well-being.
The concept of ecosystem services has proven useful in describing how biodiversity and ecosystems are linked to human well-being, but there are considerable knowledge gaps about urban ecosystem services. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment covered almost every ecosystem in the world but did barely mention urban systems. On the other hand, the World Development Report (2009) the world’s largest assessment of urbanization, omitted ecosystems altogether.
In this keynote I will emphasize the role of natural capital and indicators of ecosystem services and biodiversity in urban landscapes to contribute to sustainable urban development and place human well-being at the core, break the artificial and largely culturally biased divide between the pristine and the human-dominated ecosystems, and contribute to the creation of a new language, with signs, concepts, words, tools, and institutions that would gather rather than divide, broker conflicts rather than create them, and establish responsible environmental stewardship at the heart of public interest.