Introducing the BES Urban Lexicon

The members of BES represent a wide variety of disciplines and backgrounds.  Some are educators, some are experts in community engagement, and some are researchers whose interests span from physical to social sciences.  It is no surprise that such a diverse community might use the same words in different ways, or have vocabularies that emerge from different theoretical assumptions and particular practical applications. 

A Tool for Synthesis and Conceptual Integration

In order to promote communication and shared meaning across this heterogeneous intellectual landscape, we introduce a lexicon – a roster of terms and their meanings.  Go here for the lexicon:  This list of words was assembled by a call for suggestions from the BES community.  Many different people contributed definitions.
But each definition also includes an example or two, a statement of why the term or idea is important, and some suggestions of additional sources of information on the topic.  Importance can reside in intellectual or practical realms.  Many of our concepts in fact have a dual life – as fundamental idea and as practical
application.  A figure, map, graph, or photograph may also accompany the entries.

How to Find a Term.

The BES Urban Lexicon takes the form of a web log, so the entries appear in the order in which they were posted.  In order to see an alphabetical list of the terms, users should consult the navigation pane to the left hand side of the web page.  Clicking on the term in the navigation pane reveals the entry.

Do You Want to See a New Term In the Lexicon?

If members of the BES community or the readership at large would like to see additional terms defined by us, please send suggestions to our Project Facilitator (  We can’t promise that we will find an author for all terms suggested, but we’ll give it a try.  If you are a member of the BES community and wish to define a term, send it to us in an e-mail following the format of terms already posted. 
We hope this collection of ideas and terms appropriate to contemporary urban ecological science is useful.