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Urban Ecology for the Development of Sustainable Living

Do you want to contribute to the development of a sustainable future? Are you interested in how you can design a living space that is for both humans and other organisms? Are you wondering about how plants and animals can cope in an urban environment? This cross-disciplinary, distance learning course may be for you.

Over the last decades, one of the most prominent change on earth is the conversion of land from wild to managed areas. The rapid growth of urban areas has an extremely large effect on both humans and other living organisms. Urban areas fragment the landscape but can also provide living space for a variety of organisms that could adapt to the urban environment.

In the UN developmental goal 11 - Sustainable cities and communities - it is stated that sustainable development cannot be achieved without transforming the way we design and manage our urban spaces. In this process, we need to consider the ecology of both beneficial organisms, such as pollinators, that could be a resource for food production, and pests that need to be managed.

In this course we will take a cross-disciplinary approach to prepare you to contribute to the development of sustainable future living, independent of your previous background in either natural or social science. Central to the course are the concepts of urban ecology and sustainable pest management, and how to design and maintain different types of green areas that are practical and adoptable for human activities

Course evaluation

Additional course evaluations for BI1380

Academic year 2023/2024

Urban Ecology for the Development of Sustainable Living (BI1380-40017)

2024-03-20 - 2024-06-02

Academic year 2022/2023

Urban Ecology for the Development of Sustainable Living (BI1380-40130)

2023-03-22 - 2023-06-04

Academic year 2021/2022

Urban Ecology for the Development of Sustainable Living (BI1380-40153)

2022-03-24 - 2022-06-05

Syllabus and other information

Litterature list

Note that some additional literature is given in connection with lectures, assignments, seminars and project work.** **


Douglas I et al. 2020. The Routledge Handbook of Urban Ecology, Second edititon. Routledge, New York. Available as ebook from SLU library

Marzluff MJ et al. 2008. Urban Ecology. An International Perspective on the Interaction Between Humans and Nature. Springer, New York. Available as ebook from SLU library

Articles and book chapters:

Berthon et al 2021. The role of ‘nativeness’ in urban greening to support animal biodiversity. Landscape and Urban Planning 205 (2021) 103959 (Lecture JKJ)

DeFries & Nagendra. 2017. Ecosystem management as a wicked problem Science 356: 265–270. DOI: 10.1126/science.aal1950 (Lecture KKG)

Egan PA, Dicks LV, Hokkanen HMT and Stenberg JA. 2020. Delivering integrated pest and pollinator management (IPPM). Trends in Plant Science 25: 577-589. (Lecture JSB)

Elmqvist, T., et al. 2015. Benefits of restoring ecosystem services in urban areas. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 14: p. 101-108. (Lecture KKG)

Isaksson C. 2020. Urban ecophysiology: beyond costs, stress and biomarkers. Journal of Experimental Biology 223: jeb203794. doi:10.1242/jeb.203794 (Lecture CI)

Isaksson C and Bonier F. 2020. Urban evolutionary physiology* *In: *Urban Evolutionary Biology*. Edited by Szulkin M, Munshi-South J and Charmantier A. Oxford University Press.

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198836841.003.0013 (Lecture CI)

Jensen et al 2022. Contrasting effects of tree origin and urbanization on invertebrate abundance and tree phenology. Ecol Appl 32(2) e02491

DOI: 10.1002/eap.2491 (Lecture JKJ)

Jensen et al. 2023. Urban tree composition is associated with breeding success of a passerine bird, but effects vary within and between years. Oecologia 201: 585-597 DOI: 10.1007/s00442-023-05319-8 (Lecture JKJ)

Johnson TJ and Munshi-South J. 2017. Evolution of life in urban environments. Science 358, DOI: 10.1126/science.aam8327 (Lecture ÅL)

Karlsson Green K, Stenberg JA and Lankinen Å. 2020. Making sense of integrated pest management (IPM) in the light of evolution. Evolutionary Applications 13: 1791–1805. (Lecture JSB)

Lin, B.B., S.M. Philpott, and S. Jha. 2015. The future of urban agriculture and biodiversity-ecosystem services: Challenges and next steps. Basic and Applied Ecology, 16(3): p. 189-201. (Lecture KKG)

Lowe, E.C., et al., 2019. Engaging urban stakeholders in the sustainable management of arthropod pests. Journal of Pest Science, 92(3): p. 987-1002. 10.1007/s10340-019-01087-8 (Lectures LGB & KKG)

Milot E and Stearns SC. 2020. Evolution of humans in cities. In: Urban Evolutionary Ecology. Edited by Szuskin M., Munshi-South J and Charmantier A. Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198836841.003.0016 *File available for download *(Lecture ÅL)

McKinney ML. 2008. Effects of urbanization on species richness: A review of plants and animals. Urban Ecosystems 11:161–176. (Lecture ÅL)

Santangelo JS, Rivkin LR and Johnson TJ. 2018. The evolution of city life. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 285: 20181529. (Lecture ÅL)

Santangelo JS et al. 2022. Global urban environmental change drives adaptation in white clover. Science 375: 1275-1281, DOI: 10.1126/science.abk0989 (Lecture ÅL)

Steffen W et al. 2015. Planetary boundaries: Guiding human development on a changing planet. Science 347:1259855, (Lecture KKG)

Stenberg JA. 2017. A conceptual framework for integrated pest management. Trends in Plant Science 22: 759-769. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2017.06.010 (Lecture JSB)

Course facts

The course is offered as an independent course: Yes The course is offered as a programme course: Agroecology - Master's Programme Landscape Architecture- Master's Programme Landscape Engineer Programme - Alnarp Tuition fee: Tuition fee only for non-EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens: 38060 SEK Cycle: Master’s level (A1N)
Subject: Landscape Architecture Biology Biology Landscape Architecture
Course code: BI1380 Application code: SLU-40032 Location: Location independent Distance course: Yes Language: English Responsible department: Department of Plant Protection Biology Pace: 100%