Two months in front of our next URBIO conference we can provide you the
1. URBIO 2012 conference in Mumbai: Urban Biodiversity and Climate
Change Adaptation and Mitigation
Haripriya Gundimeda and her team have prepared a wonderful program with
excellent key note speakers
http://www.hss.iitb.ac.in/urbio2012/index.php/speakers and very
interesting sessions where many colleagues and numerous young
researchers will present and discuss the latest themes
There are also exiting mid and post conference tours to hot spots and
best practise projects of Mumbai and India
Please note that we will have a public URBIO Advisory Board meeting on
the 11. October, where will discuss and decide all URBIO related affairs
and especially the next conference 2014 in South Korea. All participants
are warmly invited to attend this meeting
2. Progress of the “City Biodiversity Outlook”
The “Cities and Biodiversity Outlook” (CBO) - a collaborative project
between the Secretariat of CBD and the Stockholm Resilience Centre, at
Stockholm University- is the first global assessment of the links
between urbanization, biodiversity and ecosystem services (see former
URBIO letters). Combining science and policy, scientists from around the
world will analyze how urbanization and urban growth impacts
biodiversity and ecosystems, delivering key messages on the conservation
and the sustainable use of natural resources to decision-makers. Cities,
local authorities and sub-national governments will have the opportunity
to showcase their practices on sustainability and biodiversity and learn
from existing experiences how to incorporate those topics in their
agendas and policies.
In the moment the second draft of the CBO Synopsis is in review. The CBO
Scientific Foundation, which will underline the key messages of the
Synopsis, is in preparation.
Several URBIO members have contributed to the CBO and Norbert Müller is
representing our network in the Advisory Board.
Thomas Elmquist from Stockholm Resilience Centre will present at the
oncoming URBIO conference in India a key note on the progress of the
CBO. In October 2012 the CBO Synopsis will be presented at the City
Summit and COP 11 in Hyderbad.
Please read more http://www.cbd.int/authorities/cbo1.shtml
3. Funds from the German Government for URBIO President Norbert Müller
and the work at the URBIO Head Office (University of Applied Sciences
Erfurt) The German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and
Nuclear Safety and the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation are
funding the scientific work and exchange at the URBIO Head Office
related to the preparation of the City Biodiversity Outlook and the Plan
of Action on Sub-national Governments, Cities, and other Local
Authorities for Biodiversity until 2014. We are especially grateful to
Nicola Breier (Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and
Nuclear Safety, Bonn) and Dr. Horst Korn and Ute Feit (Federal Agency
for Nature Conservation, Vilm) and are looking for a fruitful collaboration.
From July 2012 Martin Kümmerling - former PhD Student at the Department
of Norbert Müller – will work as research fellow at the URBIO Head Office.
4. “The Nature of Cities” collective Blog with URBIO members
This Blogspace is a collective of writers, an essay site devoted to
conversation about cities as ecological spaces … about the nature of
cities. Founded and edited by Dr. David Maddox (Sound Science LLC, New
York City) it was launched on June, 12th in 2012. The Blog publishes one
essay per week, with a schedule of topics up till December 2012 already.
Get more info, subscribe as author, read and discuss the already
published essays at http://www.thenatureofcities.com/
5. New corresponding networks: Chicago Wilderness
We warmly welcome our newest corresponding network from the USA: Chicago
Chicago Wilderness is a regional alliance that connects people and
nature. The alliance consists of more than 260 organizations working
together to restore local nature and improve the quality of life, by
protecting the lands and waters on which the region depends. The members
of Chicago Wilderness include local, state and federal agencies, large
conservation organizations, cultural and education institutions,
volunteer groups, municipalities, corporations, and faith-based groups.
Please read more at http://www.chicagowilderness.org/
6. World Wide Views on biodiversity project WWViews on biodiversity is
a global citizen participation project designed to provide policymakers
with information about citizens’ views on biodiversity issues.
On September 15th 2012, citizens all over the world will meet in their
countries to debate the same themes and questions with their fellow countrymen.
At the end of the day it will be possible to compare the result from all the
countries and a month later the results will be presented at the UN
Biodiversity conference, COP11, in India. Thus, WWViews on Biodiversity gives
policymakers the opportunity to take citizens’ views into account, when deciding on
policy measures and awareness raising initiatives to deal with the
decline of biodiversity.
The coordination of the project is sponsored by the VILLUM Foundation
and The Danish Ministry of the Environment. It is further supported by
in-kind contributions from The Danish Board of Technology and the CBD
Secretariat. It is to be co-implemented by countries worldwide with
coordination support from the Danish Board of Technology and with full
support from the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Please find more information at
7. PhD position available at UFZ Leipzig on urban ecosystem services
The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ in Leipzig offers
a PhD student position on the influence of urban form on urban ecosystem
services and biodiversity. The PhD project investigates the influence of
the spatial configuration of urban structures (built-up area, green and
blue infrastructure) on selected urban ecosystem services and biodiversity.
Applicants should have a degree in geography, landscape ecology,
geoecology, environmental sciences or related subjects. Experience in
GIS and advanced statistics is an advantage.
The full job offer is available at
8. Upcoming Conferences
- Symposium "Designing nature as infrastructure" – November 29th-30th
2012 in Munich, Germany
Describes the notion "Green Infrastructure" a new paradigm for the
design of social relations to nature or just a current synonym for
landscape? This question shall be answered by the symposium "Designing
nature as infrastructure" that proposes a platform on which researchers
and practitioners working in landscape-related disciplines can engage in
a discussion about a current main topic: infrastructure. It asks
participants to examine potentials of multidisciplinary approaches and
interplays between design and ecology in current debates on
infrastructures in urban and landscape restructuring.
Organized by Technische Universität München. Read more at
- VII Southern Connection Congress – January 21st-25th 2013 in Dunedin,
New Zealand Information on symposium 25: “Change, disaster, resilience
and future-proofing of urban environments”
New Zealand sits precariously on the edge of tectonic plates and vast
oceans and thus is prone to earthquakes and sea level rise as well as
the background anthropogenic and successional changes. Urban
environments are key to the future of human-kind in terms of commerce,
importance of green space to health, happiness, equity and productivity,
to lowland biodiversity (Erfurt Declaration), and lessons on limits to
growth and sustainability. This symposium will review current knowledge
of urban change ecology, the nature of chronic and catastrophic
disruption, and the mechanisms of and management for living and
recovering within the context of dynamic physical, social and biological
Rationale: Urban Resilience to Disasters is a very important and timely
topic for the Southern Connection Congress, given all the earthquakes,
fires, floods, tsunami’s, dust storms that have occurred, particularly
around the Pacific Rim in the past few years.
The symposium will include topics like:
- exploring a COMPARISON of the extent to which engineered
infrastructure and engineered GREEN infrastructure in cities have
performed in response to various types of disasters,
- the extent to which both have been incorporated into
resiliency-focussed urban design in different cities. Has that happened yet?
- how Natural Components (as opposed to engineered green components) of
cities responded to disasters- anything we can learn from these
responses that would improve urban design for resilience?
Contact: Glenn Stewart, Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- First announcement of LE:NOTRE Landscape Forum 2013 "Meeting in the
Middle - A point of contact for different landscape cultures" - April
17th-21st 2013 in Rome, Italy
The Rome Forum will continue to investigate the individual themes which
we started to consider in Antalya in dialogue with colleagues from other
landscape disciplines and from landscape practice. The themes for the
2012 Forum will be
1. Urban growth and peri-urban sprawl | Urban form and the
2. Sustainable tourism | Landscape structure and the urban panorama
3. Heritage and identities | Strengthening identity: permanence and
4. Rural change: landscapes and lifestyles | Fragmenting the rural:
cultural landscape and infrastructure
Organized by LE:NOTRE Institute & La Sapienza University Rome. Further
information can be found at
9. New Journals
- Ecosystem Services (Elsevier)
Ecosystem Services, associated with the Ecosystem Services Partnership
(ESP), is an international, interdisciplinary journal that deals with
the science, policy and practice of Ecosystem Services in the following
disciplines: ecology and economics, institutions, planning and decision
making, economic sectors such as agriculture, forestry and outdoor
recreation, and all types of ecosystems. The aims of the journal are to
improve our understanding of the dynamics, benefits and social and
economic values of ecosystem services...
More information available at
- Urban Climate (Elsevier)
Launching in 2012, the journal “Urban Climate” will provide a platform
to share results and insights on all aspects of urban climate. Urban
Climate is under the editorship of Professor Matthias Ruth and Professor
Alexander Baklanov. Urban Climate serves the scientific and decision
making communities with the publication of research on theory, science
and applications relevant to understanding urban climatic conditions and
change in relation to their geography and to demographic, socioeconomic,
institutional, technological and environmental dynamics and global change.
Please find more information and submit your papers at
10. New Literature
- GBIF-ICLEI Best Practice Guide for Biodiversity Data Publishing by
GBIF, 2012 Global Biodiversity Information Facility, 62 p.
A best practice guide published by Global Biodiversity Information
Facility (GBIF) and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability,
supported by Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), as guidance for local
authorities on publishing through the GBIF network: Helping preserve
knowledge about biodiversity.
It specifies tools, standards and infrastructures available to
practitioners in local government for publishing biodiversity data, as
well as explanation when and how to use them. It also sets out to make
local governments aware of the benefits to them of being able to access
biodiversity data via the GBIF network, and highlights the important
role they can play as contributors of biodiversity data. It is explained
how data publishing can be incorporated into planning, policy
development and decision-making processes in local government.
The Best Practice Guide is available for free download at
- The Green Leap: A Primer for Conserving Biodiversity in Subdivision
Mark Hostetler, 2012 University of California Press, 205 p.
Written for anyone interested in green development—including policy
makers, architects, developers, builders, and homeowners—this practical
guide focuses on the central question of how to conserve biodiversity in
neighborhoods and to minimize development impacts on surrounding
habitats. The Green Leap specifically helps move green development
beyond the design stage by thoroughly addressing construction and
Incorporating many real-world examples, Mark Hostetler explains key
conservation concepts and techniques, with specific advice for a wide
variety of stakeholders that are interested in creating and maintaining
green developments. He outlines the key players and principles needed to
establish biodiverse communities and illustrates eight key design and
management strategies. The Green Leap not only offers essential
information for constructing new developments but also helps existing
communities retrofit homes, yards, and neighborhoods to better serve
both people and nature.
- Urban Mammals: A Concise Guide
David Wembridge, 2012 Whittet Books, 112 p., ISBN-13: 9781873580851
Over twenty species of mammals make use of the green spaces and the
brick and timber habitats of our towns and cities--from bats and wood
mice, to muntjac and badgers--and, when we take the time to look, it can
be surprising who we find our wild neighbours to be.
David Wembridge of the People's Trust for Endangered Species has
compiled this introduction to the mammals we can see without even
venturing out of the garden.
Best wishes from Germany and Japan
Norbert and Mahito
President Office URBIO
Prof. Dr. Norbert Müller
Fachgebiet Landschaftspflege & Biotopentwicklung
Dep. Landscape Management & Restoration Ecology
University of Applied Sciences Erfurt, Faculty LGF
P.O. Box 450155, 99051 Erfurt, GERMANY
Phone: + 49 361– 6700– 282 or – 269 (Office)