Conservation for Cities: How to Plan & Build Natural Infrastructure

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Island Press, Jul 14, 2015 - Architecture - 250 pages
It's time to think differently about cities and nature. Understanding how to better connect our cities with the benefits nature provides will be increasingly important as people migrate to cities and flourish in them. All this urban growth, along with challenges of adapting to climate change, will require a new approach to infrastructure if we're going to be successful. Yet guidance on how to plan and implement projects to protect or restore natural infrastructure is often hard to come by.

With Conservation for Cities, Robert McDonald offers a comprehensive framework for maintaining and strengthening the supporting bonds between cities and nature through innovative infrastructure projects. After presenting a broad approach to incorporating natural infrastructure priorities into urban planning, he focuses each following chapter on a specific ecosystem service. He describes a wide variety of benefits, and helps practitioners answer fundamental questions: What are the best ecosystem services to enhance in a particular city or neighborhood? How might planners best combine green and grey infrastructure to solve problems facing a city? What are the regulatory and policy tools that can help fund and implement projects? Finally, McDonald explains how to develop a cost-effective mix of grey and green infrastructure and offers targeted advice on quantifying the benefits.

Written by one of The Nature Conservancy's lead scientists on cities and natural infrastructure, Conservation for Cities is a book that ecologists, planners, and landscape architects will turn to again and again as they plan and implement a wide variety of projects.

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Conservation for Cities: How To Plan & Build Natural Infrastructure

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Urban areas have been constantly expanding in modern times—some steadily, while others have seen rapid explosions in growth. More people mean increased strain on natural resources and infrastructure ... Read full review


Chapter 1 Nature in an Urban World
Chapter 2 Figuring Out What Matters
Chapter 3 Drinking Water Protection
Chapter 4 Stormwater
Chapter 5 Floodwater
Chapter 6 Coastal Protection
Chapter 7 Shade
Chapter 8 Air Purification
Chapter 10 Recreation Value and Physical Health
Chapter 11 Parks and Mental Health
Chapter 12 The Value of Biodiversity in Cities
Chapter 13 Putting It All Together
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Chapter 9 Aesthetic Value

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About the author (2015)

Dr. Robert McDonald is Senior Scientist for Sustainable Land Use at The Nature Conservancy, where he is lead scientist for the organization's efforts to figure out how to make cities more sustainable. He holds a PhD in Ecology from Duke University and has published more than 30 peer-reviewed publications, many of them on the science of how cities impact and depend on the environment. He blogs for The Nature Conservancy'sCool Green Scienceblog and has published two recent essays on urban/environment interactions in a collection calledTaking Sides: Clashing Views in Global Issues(McGraw-Hill) and inThe Chronicle of Higher Education.

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