Planning agencies in urbanizing regions face unprecedented challenges: Rapid environmental change places enormous pressure on their ability to support urban populations while maintaining a healthy ecosystem. Agencies must devise policies to guide urban development and to make decisions about where and how to invest in infrastructure that is economically viable while simultaneously minimizing environmental impact. In regions that are becoming urbanized, the form and pace of urbanization mediate the complex interactions between humans and ecological processes. In turn, urbanization places increasing pressures and constraints on natural resources. Planning decisions, especially those about urban growth and infrastructure, can influence the directions of urban development and determine the sustainability of our urban planet. To make sound decisions, it is crucial to assess the effectiveness of infrastructure choices and the robustness of urban planning strategies under alternative future scenarios.


Ecosystem Function Regime Shift Urban Ecosystem Urban Ecology Scenario Planning 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

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