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Thomas Elmqvist,  Stockholm

Cities are ecosystems of people, nature, and infrastructure.
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  • Thomas Elmqvist

    Thomas Elmqvist

    Professor & Theme Leader Stockholm University & Stockholm Resilience Center Stockholm, Sweden Thomas Elmqvist, PhD, is a professor in Natural Resource Management at Stockholm University and Theme Leader at the Stockholm Resilience Center. His research is focused on ecosystem services, land use change, natural disturbances and components of resilience including the role of social institutions. He is coordinating a major interdisciplinary research themes as part of the Stockholm Resilience Centre focusing on governance and management of ecosystem services in urban landscapes, involving 12 cities around the world. He was involved in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and principal investigator of several multidisciplinary projects in Africa. He serves as associated editor for the journals Ecology and Society, Conservation and Society, Ambio and Sustainability Science. He is currently a co-chair of the Science Committee bioSustainability, as part of Diversitas and participate in the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity project.

    May 1, 2016

    CentralPark
    Environmental Education and Advancing Urbanization
    David Maddox, New York City
    Harini Nagendra, Bangalore
    Thomas Elmqvist, Stockholm
    Alex Russ, Ithaca

    Cities—their design and how we live in them—will be key in our struggle for sustainability and, indeed, our future. As cities grow, as they are newly created, and as more and more people choose or require them as places to...

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    September 29, 2015

    HurricaneSandyPhotobyMarkOlsen
    What is the insurance value of urban ecosystems and their services?
    Victor Beumer, Delft
    Henry Booth, West Chester
    Mitchell Chester, Miami
    Thomas Elmqvist, Stockholm
    Alexandros Gasparatos, Tokyo
    Jaroslav Mysiak, Venice
    Rob Tinch, Brussels
    Henrik von Wehrden, Lüneburg
    Francis Vorhies, Divonne-les-Bains
    Koko Warner, Bonn

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    May 19, 2015

    NEW YORK (Nov. 4, 2012) Damage Control Fireman Louis Durante waits along Rockaway Beach in Queens, N.Y., for a dewatering team from the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17). Durante, from New York, was on leave when Hurricane Sandy struck and met the dewatering team to help dewater apartment complexes in Rockaway Beach. The U.S. Navy has positioned forces in the area to assist U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) in support of FEMA and local civil authorities following the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy.
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Terah L. Mollise/Released) 121104-N-GZ984-062
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    Taking “resilience” out of the realm of metaphor. How do you measure resilience in cities? How would you know if your city or your community was resilient?
    Keren Bolter, Fort Lauderdale
    Cezar Busatto, Porto Alegre
    Lorenzo Chelleri, L'Aquila
    William Dunbar, Tokyo
    Thomas Elmqvist, Stockholm
    Antoine Faye, Dakar
    Richard Friend, Bangkok
    Lance Gunderson, Atlanta
    Tom Henfrey, Bristol
    Patricia Holly, Barcelona and Nairobi
    Dan Lewis, Barcelona and Nairobi
    Rachna Leveque, London
    Shuaib Lwasa, Kampala
    Timon McPhearson, New York
    Franco Montalto, Philadelphia and Venice
    Luciana Nery, Rio de Janeiro
    Henk Ovink, The Hague
    Elisabeth Peyroux, Paris
    Catherine Sutherland, Durban
    Pakamas Thinphanga, Bangkok
    Claire Weisz, New York
    Daniel Zarrilli, New York

    20 Comment(s)
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    May 12, 2014

    According to available studies, around 60% of the housing in Mexico has been built by the people. Similar percentages can be found in several countries of the Global South. The dualistic conceptualization of formal-informal does not captures the richness and diversity of these processes, and usually translates into limited governmental interventions and very often in its criminalization. We prefer to understand them as --social production of habitat--, a self-managed effort from communities and families to realize their right to housing and their right to the city. References: Among others, please refer to some of the following publications: Enrique Ortiz F. y Ma. Lorena Zárate (eds.), Vivitos y coleando. 40 años trabajando por el hábitat popular en América Latina, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana y HIC-AL, México, 2002; Enrique Ortiz Flores y Ma. Lorena Zárate (eds.), De la marginación a la ciudadanía: 38 casos de producción y gestión social del hábitat, Fundación Forum Universal de las Culturas, HIC y HIC-AL, Barcelona, 2005; y Rino Torres, La producción social de vivienda en México. Su importancia nacional y su impacto en la economía de los hogares pobres, HIC-AL, México, 2006.
    A Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on Cities and Human Settlements is competing for a place among the final United Nations SDGs that will be approved in 2014. If there were an explicitly Urban SDG, what would it look like? What should it say?
    Yunus Arikan, Bonn
    Genie Birch, Philadelphia
    Ben Bradlow, Boston
    Maruxa Cardama, Brussels
    Thomas Elmqvist, Stockholm
    Julian Goh, Singapore
    Shuaib Lwasa, Kampala
    Anjali Mahendra, Delhi
    Mary Rowe, New York City
    Andrew Rudd, New York City
    Kaveh Samiei, Tehran
    Karen Seto, New Haven
    Lorena Zárate, Mexico City

    9 Comment(s)
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    March 3, 2014

    Grey Infrastructure such as Portland's Combined Sewer Overflow "big pipe" (LEFT) is essential to the city's efforts to clean up the Willamette River by virtually eliminating sewer overflows, but it it is a single, purpose "out of sight,out of mind" solution with none of the additional benefits provided by green infrastructure such as Portland's Park Blocks (RIGHT) which attenuate stormwater, reduce urban heat island effect, provide migratory bird habitat and beautify downtown Portland.  RIGHT: At the other range of the size spectrum built green infrastructure like this curb extension not only protects the city's $1.44  billion investment in its Combine Sewer Overflow program by keeping stormwater out of the city's grey, piped system but also create a more aesthetic green street and contributes to traffic calming, improving quality of life in the neighborhood.
    Many believe that better information on the monetary value of ecosystem services is critical for getting cities to adopt more green infrastructure solutions to issues such as storm water management, heat island, storm surge, etc. True? What are the key knowledge gaps for convincing cities to invest in ecosystems services?
    Taylor Britt, Houston
    Nette Compton, New York City
    Thomas Elmqvist, Stockholm
    Mike Houck, Portland
    Haripriya Gundimeda, Mumbai
    Patrick Lydon, San Jose & Seoul
    Rob McInnes, London
    Timon McPhearson, New York
    Franco Montalto, Philadelphia and Venice
    Steve Whitney, Seattle

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    March 2, 2014

    UrbanDevelopment
    Why We Need an Urban Sustainable Development Goal
    Thomas Elmqvist, Stockholm

    Next year, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), adopted by the United Nations after the Millennium Declaration, are set to expire. The next set of global development goals, which are supposed to be even more environmentally focused — the Sustainable Development...

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    August 25, 2013

    A small park in Midtown Manhattan (53rd St), with a waterfall and a green wall. Green walls may reduce up to 40dB of outdoor noise and vibration. Photo: David Maddox
    Designing the Urban Soundscape
    Thomas Elmqvist, Stockholm

    City planners have often many and innovative solutions for how to create a ’good urban milieu’. However, these ideas are mainly focused on accommodating visual aesthetics with necessary practical matters for transport, waste and energy. The dynamic sound perspectives in...

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    March 27, 2013

    Fig 2
    Urban Sustainability and Resilience—Why We Need to Focus on Scales
    Thomas Elmqvist, Stockholm

    Two of the most debated and challenging concepts in urban development are sustainability and resilience. How are they related? Do they mean approximately the same thing or are they distinctly different and can misunderstandings lead to undesired outcomes? In this...

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    October 3, 2012

    Northern Leopard Frog (Rana pipiens)
    Cities and Biodiversity Outlook—Unprecedented Opportunities Lie Ahead in Greening Urban Expansion
    Thomas Elmqvist, Stockholm

    The world is increasingly urban, interconnected, and changing. If current trends continue, by 2050 the global urban population is estimated to double and be around 6.5 billion. Most of future urban growth is expected to happen in small and medium-sized...

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