Human Ecology in the Context of Urbanisation

  • Roderick J. LawrenceEmail author


There are multiple consequences of urbanization and the development of cities including irreversible changes to ecosystems and diverse impacts on human health. The multiple consequences of urban development are difficult to understand owing to the complexity, diversity, and unpredictability of urbanization. The interrelations between human groups, their habitat and different kinds of global change to the biosphere and ecosystems are complex, emergent and systemic. This chapter argues that an interdisciplinary approach based on the generic principles of human ecology can improve our understanding of the consequences of large-scale urban development for health and well-being. This knowledge should be the foundation of urban planning and building construction. The advantage of applying principles of human ecology stem from its integrated conceptual framework of the multiple relations between human groups and all the components of their natural and built environments. This integrated, systemic framework can be applied to analyse the seven fundamental constituents of cities and urban development while addressing the challenge of urban health as a global phenomenon in the twenty-first century.


Complexity Diversity Health Human ecology Urban ecosystems 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geneva School of Social Sciences (G3S)University of GenevaGenevaSwitzerland
  2. 2.School of Architecture and the Built Environment, Faculty of the ProfessionsUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  3. 3.Institute for Environment and Development (LESTARI)Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)BangiMalaysia

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