Actionable urban ecology in China and the world: Integrating ecology and planning for sustainable cities


This special issue is drawn from contributions to an international workshop on Frontiers in Urban Ecological Research and Planning: Linking Ideas from the East and West, held from October 25 to 30, 2012, on the campus of the East China Normal University (ECNU) in Shanghai, China. The workshop was organized by the Global Institute for Urban and Regional Sustainability (GIURS) and the Shanghai Key Lab for Urban Ecological Processes and Eco-Restoration (SHUES) at ECNU. It was convened as part of an activity sponsored by the U.S. National Science Foundation Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) to contribute to the synthesis of understanding, planning, and management of urban ecosystems in China. At the workshop, scholars from around the world aimed to advance the actionability of the science of urban ecology and to increase its relevance to the sustainable planning, design, and management of cities. What is “actionable science”? Palmer (2012) defined it as science that “has the potential to inform decisions (in government, business, and the household), to improve the design or implementation of public policies, or to influence public- or private-sector strategies, planning and behaviors that affect the environment.” Thus, ecologists, social scientists, planners and designers joined together to address the actionability of urban ecology, and also to probe their own research for its relevance to improving urbanization in China and elsewhere.

Publication Type
Journal Article
Jianguo Wu, Arizona State University
W.N. Xiang
Landscape and Urban Planning