Of Wilderness, Wild-ness, and Wild Things
Humans are an urban species. For the first time in our history, more than half the world’s 7.4 billion humans now live in urban settlements. We have become the single dominant species shaping the planet, from its surface lands and waters to its climate, and, by extension, to the future of all other species on earth. The Anthropocene age is upon us, and we are its defining creature. But what of the others—the other 2.5 million-so-far (by the most conservative estimate) known species on Earth? Who in the Anthropocene will speak for these creatures and their wild places? Where will be these wild things and, through their fading reflection, what will become of the wild within the human? Read More
Nature and Cities: The Ecological Imperative in Urban Design and Planning
A new compilation of essays and work from a number of leading landscape architects, architects, and planners is slated for publication in June 2016. Nina-Marie Lister contributes a chapter on resilience.
Nature and Cities will be published by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, in association with the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture, and George F. Thompson Publishing. The introduction to the book can be read in full here.
In Nature and Cities: The Ecological Imperative in Urban Design and Planning, a compilation of essays and images by leading international landscape architects, architects, and planners. The book is scheduled for publication in June 2016 by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, in association with the School of Architecture, The University of Texas at Austin, and George F. Thompson Publishing.
Integrated Adaptive Design for Wildlife Movement Under Climate Change
Climate change is anticipated to alter both wildlife movement and distributions. Despite mounting evidence that wildlife-crossing infrastructure offers a reliable, physical solution to the linked problems of wildlife road mortality and habitat fragmentation, pervasive barriers – from economic to governance structures – prevent the widespread introduction of an infrastructure network. To overcome these barriers, and to cope with the challenges posed by climate change, we argue that proactive, anticipatory planning and evidence-based, integrated highway-impact mitigation strategies are needed. Specifically, wildlife-crossing infrastructure should emphasize an integrated and adaptive approach to constructing innovative, modular, and potentially moveable structures that can be transferred from one location to another as monitoring of habitats and wildlife needs indicate. Continued investment in fixed, static structures, which are typically based on engineering standards designed for traffic loads rather than wildlife movement, may prove ineffectual as habitats change in composition and location, potentially leading to associated changes in the locations of wildlife–vehicle collisions.
Full Article: http://www.esajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1890/150080
Authors: Nina-Marie Lister, Marta Brocki, and Robert Ament
Publication Date: Nov 2015
Publication Name: Frontiers in Ecology & Environment, 13(9), 493–502
Many Small-Scale Projects
The following is an excerpt of Designed for the Future: 80 Practical Ideas for a Sustainable World by Jared Green, published by Princeton Architectural Press, 2015.
"Form a new language of sustainability that is beautiful and legible to everyone.
What do you mean by a sustainable future? For me, it’s the living world of ecology, the stuff of life, the relationship between living creatures and the places they inhabit. It means that we need to understand our landscapes and the places that sustain us.
A sustainable future is one in which we have the capacity to adapt to ever-changing dynamic conditions. This means that humans, together with our environment, have transformative capacity."
Resilience: Designing the New Sustainability
Design for resilience needs an evidence-based approach that contributes to adaptive and ecologically-responsive design in the face of complexity, uncertainty and vulnerability. Put simply: What does a resilient world look like, how does it behave and how do we design for resilience?
Design Studio “DEPOLDERING DORDRECHT” at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Kimberly Garza and Sarah Thomas proposed a speculative dynamic measure of sea level for the Netherlands Delta Region as part of a climate-change adaptation project.
Publication Date: Apr 2015
Publication Name: In: Topos 90: Resilient Cities and Landscapes, München, Germany.
New Infrastructure for Landscape Connectivity
"Wildness has long occupied a romantic and somewhat dormant position in the discussion of landscape theory and practice. However, current initiatives aiming to “rewild” rural, urban, and suburban environments attest to its renewed significance. It is no longer just a question of saving or protecting wilderness, but one of how we can design novel ecosystems that stimulate the emergence of new forms of biological and cultural diversity.
LA+ WILD explores the concept of WILD and its role in design, large-scale habitat and species conservation, scientific research, the human psyche, and aesthetics. This issue of LA+ includes contributions drawn from disciplines as diverse as evolutionary ecology, biology, visual arts, bioengineering, landscape architecture, planning, architecture, climatology, environmental history, philosophy, and literature."
Publication Date: Mar 2015
Publication Name: In: LA+ University of Pennsylvania School of Design Interdisciplinary Journal of Landscape Architecture: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 44-52.
Review: Landscape Architecture in Canada
"Ron Williams spent 14 years filling a gap— a chasm really—in the story of landscape architecture in Canada. Much of our national identity is tied to our collective interpretation (and memory) of the majesty and power of the landscape, from moun- tains to prairie to boreal forest, and from west to east to north coasts. But these associations are inevitably with the land- scapes of nature and the wild, and rarely are they associated with the human hand and the imagination of design—and thus, the territory of landscape architecture. With no guide to the designed landscapes that shaped the founding of Canada as a nation, and which continue today to shape our emergent culture and our evolving identity, we would have little collective sense of who we are, let alone who we are becoming. Indeed, with more than 80 percent of Canadians living in urban areas within two hours of the U.S. border, we are now an urban nation, and there is no question that the landscapes that shaped us are also the landscapes that must sus- tain us. In this context, Ron Williams’ wide- reaching text is the first critical history of landscape architecture in Canada, and a guide to the past that offers insights for today and questions for tomorrow."
Publication Date: Fall 2014Publication Name: In: Ground (27). Ontario Association of Landscape Architects: Toronto, Ontario, pp. 32-33.
- Embracing Complexity: Ecological Design for Living Landscapes
Landscape Architecture Magazine: Projective Ecologies (Book Preview)
Publication Name: Landscape Architecture Magazine, p. 119.
Publication Date: July 2014
"Projective Ecologies, is an explicit recognition of a plurality of ecological theories and applied research underpinning contemporary understandings of cultural and natural living systems. It spans a broad spectrum from philosophy and the humanities to the social and biological sciences. Landscape ecology, human ecology, urban ecology, applied ecology, evolutionary ecology, restoration ecology, deep ecology, the ecology of place, and the unified theory of ecology (also called neutral theory of ecology) are but a few of the specialized areas of ecologically oriented research that have emerged over the past decades and continue to inform our thinking about the various interrelationships between plants, animals, and the physical, biological, cultural, and experiential world in which live. In this regard, this collective body of work is a recognition of a growing alignment between these ideas and contemporary theories about the complex, unpredictable, and emergent nature of a world that is increasingly recognized as a hybrid of culture and nature, where old dualisms are being supplanted by transdisciplinary thinking, uneasy synergies, complex networks, and surprising collaborations."
Publication Name: Chris Reed and Nina-Marie Lister, eds. ACTAR, Spain, BarcelonaPublication Date: 2014
Parallel Geneologies, Critical Ecologies
April 2014. Reed, C. & Lister, N-M (eds.) Projective Ecologies. Barcelona: ACTAR.
Hydrophilia: Urban Ecologies at the Waters’ Edge
"In Water Urbanisms – East, a selection of the world’s leading experts on urbanism reflect on the changing role that water plays in cities. They investigate the possible consequences of global warming on urban water supplies, including new problems with drought and flooding, as well as the new pressures of dealing with storm waters and basin management. This book is organized in three sections, each of which explores urban water use through a particular theme. Contemporary Positions examines a broad array of specific modern water projects. Re-visiting/Re-editing Urban Water Projects studies the history of water urbanisms from around the world in light of today’s challenges and research. Explorations & Speculations: Excerpts on Water Urbanisms looks at the role of design in urban water infrastructures. This richly illustrated book offers a wide-ranging account of the myriad roles water plays in our modern city centers."
Publication Date: Jan 15, 2014
Publication Name: Shannon, K. & De Meulder, B. (eds.) Water Urbanisms 2 - East. Zürich: Park Books.
Crossing the Road, Raising the Bar: The ARC International Design Competition
"An emerging priority for both transportation and natural resource agencies is to make highways safer for both drivers and wildlife. One of the proven solutions to improve safety, reconnect habitats, and restore wildlife movement is the provision of wildlife crossing infrastructure at key points along transportation corridors. Throughout Europe, in Asia, Australia, and in various North American locations, wildlife crossing structures have been deployed with demonstrated success. These structures include both underpasses and overpasses, both of which have been constructed in a variety of sizes and designs. Although wildlife underpasses are less costly structures to build and more commonly used by a diversity of species, wildlife overpasses are preferred by certain wide roaming and charismatic species-at-risk, such as grizzly bears (Ursus arctos), for example. Overpass structures are also more widely recognized as they are visible and noteworthy to passing motorists. As such, wildlife overpasses present a timely opportunity for the general public to experience—and identify with—engineered landscape designs that create safer roads while protecting wildlife populations and restoring ecosystem function through improved landscape connectivity. Furthermore, lighter, flexible, and adaptive infrastructures may offer effective means to facilitate wildlife mobility and population survival under uncertain climate conditions."
Publication Date: Dec 2012
Publication Name: Journal of Ecological Restoration, 30(4), 335-240.
Map-Making as Place-Making: Building Social Capital for Urban Sustainability
"Given ongoing concerns about global climate change and its impacts on cities, the need for sustainable planning has never been greater. This book explores concrete ways to achieve urban sustainability based on integrated planning, policy development, and decision-making.
Urban Sustainability is the first book to provide an applied interdisciplinary perspective on the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead in this area. Bringing together researchers and practitioners to explore leading innovations on the ground, this volume combines the theoretical underpinnings of urban sustainability with current practices through highly readable narrative case studies. The contributors also provide fresh perspectives on how issues related to sustainable urban planning and development can be reconciled through collaborative partnerships and engagement processes."
Publication Date: Oct 2012Publication Name: In: Dale A., Dushenko B., Robinson P. (eds.), Urban Sustainability: Reconnecting Space and Place, 50-80, University of Toronto Press, Canada, Ontario, Toronto.
Georgian Bay, Muskoka, and Haliburton: More than Cottage Country
"Policies promoting Toronto as a global city and provincial economic engine have been seen as beneficial to the development of all of Ontario, yet much of the province has borne significant environmental, social, economic, and political costs as a result of one city's growth. Contributors to this volume call for a radical re-imagining of public policy at local, provincial, and federal levels, that accounts for Ontario's overlooked regions.
Beyond the Global City presents a kaleidoscopic view of the province - the rich fields and small towns of the southwest, the productive agricultural lands of rural Huron County, historic Kingston and the Upper St Lawrence, the social and cultural diversity of the Ottawa valley, the near mythical woodlands and waters of Muskoka and Georgian Bay, and the heavily exploited coasts and waters of the Great Lakes - to provide a deeper understanding of its various communities. In a series of regional studies, contributors describe each area's distinctive qualities and challenges and offer recommendations about what is needed to move them forward in a more equitable and sustainable way. Two initial historical chapters lay the framework for the regional discussions, while cross-cutting and integrated chapters analyze the state of natural and cultural heritage and current development theory provincially, offering guidance for the future."
Publication Date: May 2012Publication Name: In Nelson, G. (eds.) Beyond the Global City: Understanding and Planning for the Diversity of Ontario, 168-200, McGill-Queen’s University Press, Canada, Quebec, Montreal.
Reconciling Mobility: Redesigning the Road, Reweaving Landscape
"A road is a thoroughfare designed to connect two places—a route to link communities. Virtually every definition of a road implies connectivity. Yet the unintended consequences of centuries of road building has been to divide as much as to connect. In the current era of unprecedented urban expansion and road building, perhaps it’s time to revisit the road and to design for connectivity, rather than fragmentation"
Publication Date: May 2012Publication Name: Minding Nature, 5(1), 19-29.
Ecological Urbanism: An Interview with ASLA
"There has been a paradigm shift in ecology over the last quarter century. As scientific research and published evidence on whole ecosystem function mounts, we’ve seen the paradigm of ecology move toward a more organic model of open-endedness, flexibility, resilience, and adaptation and away from a mechanistic model of stability and control. In other words, ecosystems are now understood to be open systems that behave in ways that are self-organizing and that are to some extent unpredictable. Change is built into living systems; they are characterized in part by uncertainty and dynamic change."
Publication Date: June 2011
New Wildlife Crossing Structures
Widlife-vehicle collisions are growing problem across North America's roadways. New and emerging approaches to wildlife crossing infrastructure are being developed through interdisciplinary research and application in road ecology, transportation science, and design. New solutions are explored through 5 concept designs developed in the 2010 ARC International Wildlife Crossing Infrastructure Design Competition.
Publication Date: Mar 2011Publication Name: Topos, Vol. 74: 82-89.
Reprinted in: Landscape Architecture China. March 2012.
Mapping Our Heritage: Bringing Natural Heritage into Ontario’s Municipal Cultural Resources Framework
Publication Date: Jan 2011Publication Name: Carruthers D., & Lister N-M.
Insurgent Ecologies: (Re) Claiming Ground in Landscape and Urbanism
" With the aim of projecting alternative and sustainable forms of urbanism, the book asks: What are the key principles of an ecological urbanism? How might they be organized? And what role might design and planning play in the process?
While climate change, sustainable architecture, and green technologies have become increasingly topical, issues surrounding the sustainability of the city are much less developed. The premise of the book is that an ecological approach is urgently needed both as a remedial device for the contemporary city and an organizing principle for new cities. Ecological urbanism approaches the city without any one set of instruments and with a worldview that is fluid in scale and disciplinary approach. Design provides the synthetic key to connect ecology with an urbanism that is not in contradiction with its environment.
The book brings together design practitioners and theorists, economists, engineers, artists, policy makers, environmental scientists, and public health specialists, with the goal of reaching a more robust understanding of ecological urbanism and what it might be in the future.
Contributors include: Homi Bhabha, Stefano Boeri, Chuck Hoberman, Rem Koolhaas, Sanford Kwinter, Bruno Latour, Nina-Marie Lister, Moshen Mostafavi, Matthias Schuler, Sissel Tolaas, Charles Waldheim.
Publication Name: In: M. Mostafavi with G. Doherty (eds.), Ecological Urbanism. Lars Müller Publishers, pp. 524-535.Publication Date: Mar 2010
"Water is the chemical matrix required for life, the molecular chain that connects all organisms on the planet. But in the twenty-first century, water may replace oil as the most prized of resources. Just as gas-guzzling SUVs use more than their share of fuel, water-guzzling regions threaten the water supply for the rest of the world. In Water, writers, scientists, architects, and artists consider the many aspects of water, at levels from the microscopic to the global, touching on subjects that range from new water infrastructures to ancient bathing rituals.
Water includes a chemist's accounting of the true cost of water; photographs taken inside a city's secret waterways; an urban planner's description of how Toronto, New York, Hamburg, and Seoul have redesigned and rethought their waterfront areas; a conceptual artist's series of water bottles "branded" with various modern credos; photographs of a water-damaged ledger from the 1905 Yukon gold rush; two architects' rethinking of how to collect, divert, and transport water from water-rich to water-poor regions; a philosopher's invocation of the spiritual lessons of water; and photographs of a disturbingly beautiful flooded landscape."Adapted from an earlier version, appearing in the 2009 edition of Alphabet City, WATER (edited by John Knechtel, published by MIT Press).
Publication Date: Aug 2009Publication Name: In: WATER, 188- 205, MIT Press, United States, Massachusetts.
Adaptive designs for urban waterfronts, featured in the launch of the online Places Journal, carried by the Design Observer Group.
The Ecosystem Approach: Complexity, Uncertainty, and Managing for Sustainability
Advancing a methodology that is rooted in good theory and practice, this book features case studies conducted in the Arctic and Africa, in Canada and Kathmandu, and in the Peruvian Amazon, Chesapeake Bay, and Chennai, India. Applying a systems approach to concrete environmental issues, this volume is geared toward scientists, engineers, and sustainable development scholars and practitioners who are attuned to the ideas of the Resilience Alliance-an international group of scientists who take a more holistic view of ecology and environmental problem-solving. Chapters cover the origins and rebirth of the ecosystem approach in ecology; the bridging of science and values; the challenge of governance in complex systems; systemic and participatory approaches to management; and the place for cultural diversity in the quest for global sustainability.
Publisher: David Waltner-Toews, James J. Kay, and Nina-Marie E. Lister (Columbia University Press)Publication Date: Sep 2008
Placing Food: Toronto’s Edible Landscape
"Food is essential to our sense of place and our sense of self, but today—as fast food nation meets the slow food movement and eating locally collides with on-demand arugula—our food habits are shifting. Food examines and imagines these changes, with projects by writers and artists that explore the cultural and emotional resonance of food, from the "everyday Dada" of mashed potatoes and Jell-O to the rocket science of food eaten by astronauts in space. In Food, an artist photographs everything he ate in 2006 (and some things he didn't eat, including "Food I Left in the Fridge Too Long") and finds the results both "seductive and repulsive"; a writer describes the global agro-assembly line that produces an organic bento box for Japanese commuters containing rice and vegetables from California, pork from Mexico, and salmon from Alaska; a short story writer offers an eight-page graphic novel, Eating in Cafeterias; a landscape architect compares a commercial orange with an organic apple using visualized data; an award-winning New York City food writer tells a postmodern tale about small-town Chinese-American cuisine (featuring chop suey, egg rolls, and flaming lava cocktails); an expert explains the principles of urban food sustainability. Other projects include a map of the free food from fruit trees on public land in a Los Angeles neighborhood, a visionary plan for farms in skyscrapers, and a surprising report on food security. The essays, artwork, and stories in Food offer readers a full menu of intellectual nourishment and aesthetic delight. "
Publication Date: Oct 2007Publication Name: In: John Knechtel (Ed.) FOOD. Alphabet City Series. MIT Press. pp. 148-186
Sustainable Large Parks: Ecological Design or Designer Ecology?
"The discipline of landscape architecture encompasses many typologies, from domestic gardens and neighborhood playgrounds to urban designs and state parks. Most critical studies of the discipline tend to approach it from a historical or contemporary perspective organized around criteria such as built versus unbuilt, urban versus peripheral, or competition-sponsored versus commission-based. Very few analyses have been undertaken from the seemingly obvious jumping-off point of size. In Large Parks, Julia Czerniak and George Hargreaves present eight essays by leading scholars and practitioners that engage large urban parks in depth as complex cultural spaces, where key issues of landscape discourse, ecological challenges, social history, urban relations, and place-making are writ large. From historic parks such as New York's Central Park and Paris's Bois de Boulogne to contemporary projects such as Toronto's Downsview Park and Staten Island's Fresh Kills, to newly unveiled and yet-to-be-built projects such as Ken Smith's ambitious plans for the Orange County Great Park, Large Parks highlights the complexities and unique considerations that go into designing these massive and culturally significant works. "
Publication Date: Jul 2007Publication Name: In: J. Czerniak & G. Hargreaves (eds.), Large Parks. Princeton Architectural Press. pp. 31-51.
Landscapes on the Edge: (Re)Considering the Park in the Contemporary Metropolitan Region
Proceedings of the “Landscape Studies at the City Edge” Symposium, Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden: May 4-8, 2006. Occasional Publication of Formas: The Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning, and the Nordic Landscape Research Network.Publication Name: In: M. Qvistrom and K. Saltzman (eds.) Ephemeral Landscapes: Exploring Landscape Dynamics at the Edge of the City.
Trashed Space: Reclaiming Urban Junkscape
"Trash: the emptied out, the used up, the broken, the outgrown, the obsolete; the dispossessed, the lost, the left behind. In Trash, writers, artists, and filmmakers look at how we are defined by what we waste and discover that we are what we throw away. Trash surveys a terrain that ranges from micro (a typology of dust bunnies) to macro (studies of landfill design and the trashed space of urban brownfield sites). It investigates the logic of trash as it is applied to humans and looks at lives intimately dependent on trash, taking us from the abducted girls of Juarez to the recycling communities of China.
Trash explores the ethics and psychology of trash and what these reveal about contemporary industrial society. The investigations range from the whimsical to the disturbing, and offers a variety of approaches to rehabilitating and rediscovering what is too commonly tossed aside."Publication Date: Oct 2006Publication Name: In: John Knechtel (Ed.) TRASH. Alphabet City Series. MIT Press. pp. 63-74.
Ecological Design for Industrial Ecology: Opportunities for (Re)Discovery
"It might, at first glance, seem to many that industry and ecology make strange bedfellows. For proponents of sustainable development, however, such a union is crucial. How else are we to make the industries that are so central to modern societies consistent with our visions of a sustainable future? Linking Industry and Ecology explores the origins, promise, and relevance of the emerging field of industrial ecology. It situates industrial ecology within the broader range of environmental management strategies and concepts, from the practices of pollution prevention through life cycle management, to the more fundamental shift toward dematerialization and ecological design. The book makes a compelling argument for the need to think ecologically to develop innovative and competitive industrial policy. The contributors to this volume draw on their experience in a variety of disciplines to chart a clear path for industrial ecology. Their work not only affirms what has been learned to date in this nascent field but also provides new insight for a discourse traditionally dominated by natural scientists and engineers, by demonstrating that technologies are socially and politically embedded. This book will be of interest to educators and students in environmental studies, business management, environmental and industrial engineering, and environmental planning. While many of the examples are drawn from Canada, it will also appeal to readers interested in fostering ecologically sustainable industrial and community development in other industrializing and industrialized nations."
Publication Date: Jul 2006Publication Name: In: R. Coté, J. Tansey & A. Dale (eds). Linking Industry and Ecology: A Question of Design. UBC Press. pp. 15-28.
- Shared Space
Our Place: Community Eco-design Means Re-Integrating Local Culture and Nature
"'Design' is a complex concept, bridging the artistic and the scientific domains. It can be seen as any purposeful change to the face of the earth, or in the words of Sim Van der Ryn and [Stuart Cowan], "the intentional shaping of matter, energy, and process to meet a perceived need or desire." The word "ecology" (like "economy") derives from the Greek term for household (from oikos for house). Linking these concepts, Van der Ryn and Cowan use the metaphor of a hinge connecting culture and nature and explain ecological design as "the effective adaptation to and integration with nature's processes." In this sense, ecological design is the problem-solving process of connecting nature's household (the natural environment) to that of humankind (the sociocultural environment) in such a way that our mutual interdependence is at once honoured and embraced. Implicit in this approach is the need to reconnect our communities with natural processes: to "come home" to the natural environment through the creation of meaningful places by re-integrating culture and nature."
Publication Name: Second author, with N. Luka, 2000. Alternatives Journal. 26 (3):25-30.Publication Date: Jul 2000
Celebrating Diversity: Adaptive Planning and Biodiversity
"Clearcut forests, endangered species, national parks, loss of crop varieties: in the last decade the common element of these varied concerns has become widely recognized. These are all biodiversity issues: they relate to the variety of life on Earth and our relationship with it. This relationship is now capturing the attention of activists, scientists, policymakers, and the public, from negotiations at the United Nations to concerns about the neighborhood park.
Biodiversity issues raise many questions. How many species are there, and what do they need to survive? How have we learned what we know about biodiversity? What is its value? What policies are needed to protect it? Who participates in protecting biodiversity: governments, industry, activists?
This book explores answers to these questions and, in doing so, shows how biodiversity, like other complex environmental issues, can only be understood through the insights provided by many perspectives. The authors contributing to this volume include scientists, historians, anthropologists, lawyers, political scientists, economists, and planners. Together, they provide an interdisciplinary perspective on biodiversity in Canada, especially useful for undergraduate courses in environmental and natural resource studies, geography, and political science."
Publication Date: Jan 2000Publication Name: First author, with J.J. Kay, in: S. Bocking (ed.) Biodiversity In Canada: Ecology, Ideas and Action. Broadview Press. pp. 189-218.
Integrating Research on Ecohydrology and Land Use Change with Land Use Management
One objective of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme is to provide a scientific basis for sustainable development policies. Land use change and ecohydrology are important components of this scientific basis, but predicting change is diffcult because of the scale and complexity of the interactions between non-linear ecohydrological and socio-economic processes at different spatial and temporal scales. A systems framework, the Ecosystem Approach, has been developed to conceptualize these interactions for the purpose of providing information for sustainable development policy. The Ecosystem Approach combines the dynamics of the Holling Figure-eight model -- a conceptual model of dynamics that stresses discontinuous change and destruction as an internal property of the system -- and the properties of self-organizing systems with the socio political aspects of decision making. The Ecosystem Approach highlights the problems of managing change in complex systems when that change may involve unpredictable shifts to a different attractor. Although there are methods available to detect the occurrence of such shifts, both detection and modelling are complicated by the presence of semi-stable attractors. When a model or an ecosystem is on a semi-stable attractor, it may appear to remain stable for an extended period prior to changing as a consequence of inherent instabilities. When the shift to a new attractor occurs, it is quite sudden and unpredictable. A technical discussion on prediction under conditions of semi- stability and chaos is included because it enhances our understanding of the role of surprise in ecosystems, as well as the utility of simulation models. The principles of the Ecosystem Approach are derived from the theoretical discussion and an example of a land use policy in the Huron Natural Area in south-western Ontario. These principles provide a clear role for scientific research, and particularly simulation modelling, within the larger context of policy and land use management.
Publication Name: Third-author, with B. Bass & R.E. Byers. Hydrological Processes. 12: 2217-2233.Publication Date: Jan 1999
A Systems Approach to Biodiversity Conservation Planning
"With a recent media-fueled transition from a scientiﬁc to a political perspective, biodiversity has become an issue of ethics and ensuing values, beyond its traditional ecological roots. More fundamentally, the traditional perspective of biodiversity is being challenged by the emergence of a post-normal or systems-based approach to science. A systems-based perspective of living systems rests on the central tenets of complexity and uncertainty, and necessitates ﬂexibility, anticipation and adaptation rather than prediction and control in conservation planning and management. What are the implications of this new perspective? This paper examines these challenges in the context of biodiversity conservation planning. The new perspectives of biodiversity are identiﬁed and explored, and the emergence of a new ecological context for biodiversity conservation is discussed. From the analysis, the challenges and implications for conservation planning are considered, and a systems- based or post-normal approach to conservation planning and management is proposed. In light of the new perspectives for biodiversity, conservation planning and management approaches should ultimately reﬂect the essence of living systems: they should be diverse, adaptive, and self-organizing, accepting the ecological realities of change."
Publication Name: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 49 (2/3): 123-155Publication Date: Feb 1998