Upping the urban green. How can we accelerate the role of ecology in our cities?
Ten questions about ecology in urban design

Mark Simmons: University of Texas, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, USA
Christine Thuring: University of Sheffield, UK

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1. Are you a student or practicing professional?
2. Where do you live?
3. What is your primary discipline
4. What are the most important ecosystem services that are included in the urban design of your region's cities? (The next question asks what you personally feel should be the most important)
(1=most important; 8=least important)
Urban heat island mitigation
Water quality and supply
Biodiversity/ habitat protection and creation
Air quality
Climate change mitigation/ carbon sequestration
Recreational/ visible green space
Stormwater management
Urban food supply
5. In your opinion, what ecosystem services should drive urban and site design?
(1=highest ranking; 8=lowest ranking)
Air quality
Urban food supply
Climate change mitigation/ carbon sequestration
Stormwater management
Biodiversity/ habitat
Recreational/ visible green space
Urban heat island mitigation
Water quality and supply
6. What is the highest ideal or greatest potential of an ecologically functioning city?
(1=highest ideal; 5=lowest ideal)
Deep ecology (the right to survival of organisms/ecosystems regardless of human impact)
Human physical, sociological and mental well-being
Survival of the human species
Economic and resource sustainability
Reverse the damage and preserve what’s left
7. From your discipline's perspective, what are the obstacles to an ecologically- and human-inclusive urban environment?
(1=biggest obstacle; 12=smallest)
Lack of respect/ understanding of the potential for improving ecological function
Academic (science, engineering, design) model which inhibits significant trans-disciplinary collaboration
Academic (science, engineering, design) model which inhibits real-world application
Cost of green technology implementation
Inadequate trans-disciplinary culture in the design process
Dominance of individual discipline(s) in the design process
Ignorance of available technologies
Insufficient transfer (marketing and education) of technologies and ideas across disciplines
Lack of (economic) incentives
Public apathy
Lack of respect/ understanding for other disciplines
Lack of effective policy or political will
8. Which green strategies do you think would be most effective and appropriate for improving ecosystem services in your region's cities?
(1=highest; 7=lowest)
Urban parks (conventional green open space)
Stormwater features (retention ponds, rain gardens, bioswales)
Urban wetlands/ streams/ riparian systems
Community gardens/ allotments
Green roofs and green walls
Street trees
Urban natural open areas (meadows, forests, prairies etc)
9. In your experience, which discipline(s) were/ are lacking in your training and education that would MOST benefit your current or future profession? (Please select no more than 3 choices)
10. What are the most important cultural benefits of an ecologically functioning city?
(Please consider all demographic groups: elderly, youth, minorities, etc)
(1=most important; 6=least)
Exemplification of civic commitment to sustainability principles
Sense of connection with the natural world
Cultural connectedness (regional sense of place)
Recreational opportunities (passive or active)
Community development and place-making
Better knowledge/ respect for the natural world
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