EME 810
Solar Resource Assessment and Economics

10.5 Ecosystems Services in the Urban Environment


Reading Assignment

Lest we fool ourselves into thinking that all big solar challenges will arise in the remote deserts or rural areas, we have a reading on urban ecosystems services from Portland State University.

Urban Ecosystems

Portland State University of Oregon, USA has developed an IGERT (Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship; federally funded graduate research) on "Ecosystem Services for Urbanizing Regions." They have clearly identified our urban ecosystems as essential as well. Looking at the summary of content from our reading, we should note how closely it all aligns with the integrative design approach in our own text book.

  • The global human population living in urban regions: >50% (projected to grow by 2050). This urban-centered ecosystem will intensify pressure on ecosystems that support urban areas.
  • Wicked problems: generated by urban population pressure on ecosystems, and their services require integrative solutions (transdisciplinary) that include multiple fields of study and practice.
  • Best practices: formed through collaborations among multiple organizations: nonprofit, public/government, and private.
  • Integrative design: collaboration where all relevant stakeholders are brought into the processes of problem scoping, design, and implementation.
  • Requires innovative education: to train future scientists and managers in integrative problem-based strategies and design for critical challenges in ecosystem management.

Now, how are you going to think about urban ecosystems services in your own solar design projects?