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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/3306

Title: Understanding cities as social-ecological systems
Authors: Du Plessis, C
Keywords: Socio-ecology
Cities
Ecosystem
Resilience
Urban development
Complexity theory
World Sustainable Building Conference 2008
Issue Date: Sep-2008
Citation: Du Plessis, C. 2008. Understanding cities as social-ecological systems. World Sustainable Building Conference, Melbourne, Australia, 21-25 September 2008, pp 9
Abstract: This paper builds on earlier ecological approaches to urban development, as well as more recent thinking in the fields of sustainability science, resilience thinking and complexity theory, to propose a conceptual framework for understanding cities as social-ecological systems (SESs) as a point of departure for further dialogue in the study of urban sustainability. It proposes that cities should be understood as (1) complex, adaptive systems that are (2) integrated across spheres of matter, life and human social and cultural phenomena (or mind), (3) are structured as nested systems that allows interaction across scales and levels of organisation, and (4) that what differentiates cities (and SESs) from other types of ecosystems is the introduction of abstract thought and symbolic construction that allows for considered novelty, communication of ideas across time and space, and therefore learning, and reflexive thinking
Description: World Sustainable Building Conference, Melbourne, Australia, 21-25 September 2008
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/3306
ISBN: 978646503721
Appears in Collections:Sustainable human settlements
General science, engineering & technology

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