Urban reconciliation ecology: The potential of living roofs and walls

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285 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Reconciling human and non-human use of urban regions to support biological conservation represents a major challenge for the 21st century. The concept of reconciliation ecology, by which the anthropogenic environment may be modified to encourage non-human use and biodiversity preservation without compromising societal utilization, potentially represents an appropriate paradigm for urban conservation given the generally poor opportunities that exist for reserve establishment and ecological restoration in urban areas. Two habitat improvement techniques with great potential for reconciliation ecology in urban areas are the installation of living roofs and walls, which have been shown to support a range of taxa at local scales. This paper evaluates the reconciliation potential of living roofs and walls, in particular highlighting both ecological and societal limitations that need to be overcome for application at the landscape scale. We further consider that successful utilization of living roofs and walls for urban reconciliation ecology will rely heavily on the participation of urban citizens, and that a 'citizen science' model is needed to facilitate public participation and support and to create an evidence base to determine their effectiveness. Living roofs and walls are just one aspect of urban reconciliation ecology, but are particularly important 'bottom-up' techniques for improving urban biodiversity that can be performed directly by the citizenry. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1429 - 1437
Number of pages9
JournalJOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT
Volume92
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011

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