Posts

Where Does the Baltimore School of Urban Ecology Apply?

The short answer is “Not just in Baltimore.”  Let’s explore this more deeply.  A school of thought is a broad way of thinking, strategy for research, and approach to problem solving that applies across a topic area.  A school of thought may be named for a particular place where it originated while applying to any […]

What’s Hidden in the New York Times Maps of All the Buildings in America?

Much well deserved amazement and attention has been heaped on the recent map of “every building in America,” by Tim Wallace, Derek Watkins, and John Schwartz, published on 12 October 2018 in the New York Times.  The Times’ interactive maps are a real treasure and a wonderful opportunity to explore the multiple geographies of the […]

Two Ways to Discover Disturbance

Ecological disturbance is often defined as an event that disrupts the structure of a specific system (Pickett & White, 1985).  This kind of material or physical disruption is important because it can result in changes in behavior of the system, or leave heterogeneous structural legacies that affect the system in the future (Pickett, Cadenasso, & […]

Ecology Of the City is Twenty Years Old

The phrase “ecology ofthe city” was introduced in 1997 as a simple rhetorical device to highlight the novelty of the approach to urban ecology adopted in the initial proposal for the Baltimore Ecosystem Study LTER (Pickett et al. 1997).  We and our colleagues in the other urban LTER, located in Phoenix AZ, were anxious to […]

BES Annual Report 2017: Part 2 – What Is Our Theoretical Foundation?

A Role for Theory The goals of BES are supported by three major kinds of theories. Theories are unifying frameworks that embrace many models and identify the fundamental postulates and relationships of a broad area of research. Each of the three empirical foci of BES has at least one overarching theory that justifies its use […]

How Many Principles of Urban Ecology Are There?

By Steward T.A. Pickett (Cary Institute) & Mary L. Cadenasso (University of California Davis) In 2008, we published a short paper on the principles of urban ecology (Cadenasso and Pickett 2008).  It was aimed at landscape architects and landscaping practitioners as a part of an “Ecological Landscaping” conference attended mainly by these professionals.  Consequently, we […]

Yes, But What Theory Are You Testing?

Urban ecology talks and papers often begin with statements like these: More than half the world’s human population now lives in cities. Urban areas in the United States cover 3% of the country’s area. Cities are harbingers of global warming, and already represent the drier and warmer conditions many habitats will increasingly experience. Like other […]

The Invisible in the City

Much that happens in cities — urban areas more broadly — is not obvious to the naked eye or to casual observation.  The invisible things in urban social-ecological systems represent four key dimensions: social processes and their legacies; the built and technological structures and infrastructures; ecological structures and processes; and influences and events that arrive […]

A New School of Urban Ecology: Contributions from Baltimore

Modern American urban ecology can be said to have come to fruition to a large extent in Baltimore.  Of course there are other cities where parallel, reinforcing, or complementary research and engagement activities are taking place, and all contribute to the emerging edifice of contemporary urban ecology.  But the work in Baltimore has a distinct […]

A Background Reading for the June 2015 Quarterly Project Meeting

Several of us have been working on an essay to describe more fully than an earlier post here, a theory of urban heterogeneity.  That essay is not complete yet, but it is mature enough to share with the BES community for purposed of this meeting. It is entitled “Dynamic Heterogeneity as a Framework to Promote […]