Theoretical Perspectives of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study: Conceptual Evolution in a Social–Ecological Research Project by Pickett et al. is an important addition to urban ecology literature for several reasons.

  1. Urban ecology (or even urban science) is most often justified because urbanization is one of the biggest global transformations of the 21st century; however its theoretical underpinnings are woefully neglected;
  2. This paper, using the 20 year experience of BES counters that neglect;
  3. BES itself as a long-term data collection effort sometimes emphasizes its empirical content (and the promulgation of data and metadata for various user audiences). It is important to show how these data are supported by, and relevant to, developing and refining urban science and its theory.
  4. Boosting the theoretical framing and structure of urban science theory is a significant contribution to the growth of this pioneering interdisciplinary field.
  5. Read the full paper here.