Advance the ecosystem approach to cities
To make cities better for people and the planet, the approach must become more systemic and pragmatic, and include the global south, says recognized expert Xuemei Bai.
Sundry individual projects reveal the benefits of the ecosystem approach, including water purification, improved public health, reduced disaster exposure, enhanced resilience and social justice, but it will take a lot more to change the future of cities. Several hurdles must be cleared: researchers and practitioners must dissect what hasn’t worked, develop approaches suited to the global south and learn to unite disparate efforts in a systemic way.
By Xuemei Bai, Australian National University