Ecosystems Earth on Edge
Earth on Edge
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Urban Ecosystems

Intro | Profile | Ecosystem Assessment

There is little in the architecture of a city that is more beautifully designed than a tree.

— Jaime Lerner, former mayor of Curitiba, Brazil

Cities aren't just centers of commerce, industry, education, and culture. They are also living entities — urban ecosystems with green spaces and waterways that bring together nature and human habitat. Although cities weren't one of the featured ecosystems in Earth on Edge, they face threats similar to those faced by the forests, grasslands, farms, rivers, and reefs profiled in the broadcast. Urban areas are experiencing unparalleled expansion as most of the world's population growth is funneled into cities, where half of all people already live. That means rapid change in the physical profile of cities and greater stress on the trees, parks, watersheds, and waterways that provide us everything from shady streets to recreation and wildlife habitat near our neighborhoods. Can we survive the decay of the "green infrastructure" of our cities?

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The Value of Ecosystems

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