Garden Wildlife Health

Garden Wildlife Health – given the rise in studies of urban ecology and the re-thinking about the value of green spaces(of every sort) in urban raeas, it’s no surprise that we see a site looking at wildlife management in gardens and disease control. The former seeks to promote habitat diversity; the latter looks at the influence of the spread of  disease  in our gardens.

Ecology of Urban Environments

Rating: Kirsten M Parris. 2015. Ecology of Urban Environments. Wiley. ISBN978 1 4443 3265 0 There was a time not long ago when an urban environment was something that destroyed natural systems. This might very well have been the truth then, as well as today, but the focus has changed with an increasing number of books devoted to the relatively new science of urban ecology. The focus is generally on how natural systems adapt to urban settings. There’s also the […]

Urban Ecology: An Introduction

Rating: Ian Douglas and Philip James. 2015. Urban Ecology – an introduction. Routledge. ISBN978 0 415 53895 4 It’s fairly clear that the human future is urban. We passed the half-way mark some time ago and now we are increasingly urbanised. Yet this urban future is not totally concrete. Cities have parks and other designated open spaces. Almost half of London can be considered as greenspace! It’s increasingly obvious, from bomb sites as havens of rare species to brownfield sites […]

Urban Ecology: Science of Cities

Rating: Richard TT Forman. 2014. Urban Ecology: Science of Cities. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978 0 521 18824 1 Urban ecology has a reasonably long history, if almost 100 years can be considered long, tracing its roots back into the sociology of the 1920s. Here it was seen as a way of describing the distribution of people and probably owed little to our popular conception of ecology. Urban ecology has developed from those times and now looks at the way […]

Good Cities, Better Lives

Rating: Peter Hall. 2013. Good Cities, Better Lives. Routledge. ISBN 978 0 415 84022 4 Sir Peter Hall has been writing about urban areas for over 50 years and is rightly regarded as one of the finest academics in this area. Any new book by him is going to create a wave of interest as have many of the earlier works. They seem (like London 2000 and The Containment of Urban England) to be milestones in the discussion about urban […]

The Global Casino

Rating: Nick Middleton. 2013. The Global Casino: an introduction to environmental issues.5e.  Routledge. ISBN. 978 1 4441 4662 2 At a time when there are so many specialist texts on matters dealing with environmental issues (usually with only one topic in mind) it’s good to see one that tackles so many different ones and impressive to see it through 5 editions and 18 years. Having seen a few of these earlier incarnations, a new arrival always piques interest. The basic […]

Applied Urban Ecology

Rating: Matthias Richter and Ulrike Weiland. (eds). 2012. Applied Urban Ecology. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978 1 4443 3340 4. Given that urban areas frequently degrade ecosystem processes and that, as urban areas expand this problem will only get worse, it follows that we need to consider ways to improve existing conditions. The aim of this text is to show how it might be done. It is very clear that tackling urban ecological problems is not the same as doing the same […]

Urban Ecology

Rating: Kevin J Gaston. (ed). 20120. Urban Ecology. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978 0 521 74349 5. Since, as the author asserts, this is the ‘urban century’ it follows that urban ecology should be a flourishing sub-discipline. It might be that ‘real’ ecologists study ‘real’ i.e. wild places but the increasing impact of the human population and the general growth of urbanisation makes this problematic on two levels. Firstly, we cannot appreciate the impact of urban areas unless we can […]

Heat Islands

[rating 4.5] Lisa Gartland. 2010. Heat Islands: Understanding and Mitigating Heat in Urban Areas. Earthscan. ISBN 978 1 84971 298 9. Heat islands have been recognised for many years. One of the first instances would be the  First Report of the  Royal Commission on Pollution, which reported the impact of urban climate on London (although there have been reports linking it back as far as the early 1800s). Of late, they have gathered some controversy, in a few cases the […]