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Journal of Urban Ecology: Linking and promoting research and

practice in the evolving discipline of urban ecology


A Reaction Paper
By: Arch. Angel Grace M. Bayang
Submitted to Maria Lourdes T. Munarriz, PhD, EnP

M. McDonnell (2015), in his article Journal of Urban Ecology: Linking


and promoting research and practice in the evolving discipline of urban
ecology discusses about the impacts of urbanization, the birth of a
subdiscipline of Ecology which is the Urban Ecology and the promotion and
recommendation on how to develop and improve the studies.

Upon the birth and rapidly spreading of the urban environment,


ecological imbalance becomes alarming.

Urban sprawl, climate change,

degradation of habitats and biodiversity, depletion and deterioration of


natural resources and economical and social instability affect the quality of
life by the organisms and environment. Because of lack of awareness and
knowledge on how to preserve and conserve the resources, survival of the
fittest occurs.

Ecology deals with the relationship between the living and

non living things and the environment where they belong.

Through the
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integration of the disciplines of Biological Science, Physical Science and


Social Science, Urban Ecosystem or Urban Ecology was born. It is the study
about the spatiotemperal patterns, environmental impacts, and sustainability
of urbanization with emphasis on biodiversity, ecosystem processes, and
ecosystem services which the Socioeconomic processes and urban planning
practices contribute to the urbanization patterns.

The evolution integrates

the disciplines of Political Science, Forestry, Ecology, Landscape Architecture


and Planning, Hydrology, History, Engineering, Economics, Environmental
Science, Sociology and political Science (McDonnell 2015). Sharing the skills
and expertise towards the contribution to urban ecology of ecological
scientist, health and wellness professionals and the people in the design and
construction

industry

which

are

the

architects,

planners,

engineers,

landscape architects, real estate brokers, conservationists, land managers


and the policy makers, healthy living and sustainable environment will be
achieved.

Thus, the author encourages everybody to conduct a further

study and practices for the contribution of the development and growth of
urban ecology to protect the ecosystems in urban environment.

The substantiality of the issues for urbanization on this article are not
enough to convince people to conduct further studies since they could not
yet realize and relate the importance of it. It just focuses on the definition
and the evolution from different disciplines and branches of Science.
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Definition is not simplified to the relationship or interaction of organisms to


their habitat on urban environment instead it focuses on complex context
without further elaboration.

Urban Ecology is a subdiscipline of Ecology

(McDonnell 2015) and also on Biology (Sukopp & Wittig 1998).

This

highlights the involvement of human in the ecosystem as well as nature to


urban environment.

The author seems to encourage and promote the

publication of research papers on urban studies, climate change, urban


sustainability, natural resources, organisms, ecosystems, parks, open and
green spaces, green architecture, smart growth, progressive planning water
conservation and friendly infrastructures. However, ecologists are reluctant
to conduct a study about urban ecosystem because it will bring inferiority
complex to less disturb rural ones (Gilber, 1989; Haila, 1999; McDonnell,
1997; McDonnel and Pickett, 1993; Rees, 1997).

It would be a challenge

also to promote rural ecology but the concern of urban ecology is much
greater because of the impacts and effects.

Adaptation to new urban

environment makes the organisms to lose their relationship to their habitat


because they have to adjust again and mostly their lives are in dangers.
Urban Ecology should not focus only to the negative impacts as stated on
the journal. There are favorable effects such as preserving the environment
by incorporating green architecture on an urban area and protecting the
diversity by providing those spaces on the new habitat.

The reader can conclude that the study is very significant to all
professionals in the society.

Through their contributions on research and

practices for the evolution of urban ecology by their experiences, urban


environment and biodiversities will be protected, preserved, and sustainable.
As a challenge, this topic will be used for future studies of the reader as an
advocacy to integrate the architecture and urban planning with ecology. By
providing a template design for a sustainable urban ecosystem, it would be
easy to promote a healthy and friendly urban environment.

References
Langner, M., & Endlicher, W (eds.) (2014). Shrinking Cities: Effects on Urban
Ecology and Challenges for Urban Development. Retrieved February 5, 2016,
from www.peterlang.com/download/extract/40473/extract_56610.pdf
McDonnell, M. (2015). Journal of Urban Ecology: Linking and promoting
research and practice in the evolving discipline of urban ecology. Retrieved
February 4, 2016, jue.oxfordjournals.org/content/jue/1/1/juv003.full.pdf
Niemela, J. (2000). Is there a need for a theory in Urban

Ecology?.

Retrieved February 9, 2016, from https://helda.helsinki.fi/bitstream/handle


/1975/213/1999-is_there_a_need_for_a_theory.pdf?sequence=1
Steiner, F., & Butler, K. (2007). Planning and Urban Design Standards.
Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Whittick, A (1974). Encyclopedia of Urban Planning. Avenue of the Americas,
New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc.