Publication Date

November 2017

Ecosystem-based frameworks offer a robust platform for managing complex ecological challenges associated with land management. Actionable frameworks for urban ecosystems are just emerging, and the purpose of this essay is to support advancing application in city management contexts. Comprehensive urban ecosystem frameworks have the potential to synergize interrelated, yet often siloed, urban environmental management themes including urban biodiversity and natural features, pollution management, ecosystem services enhancement, and natural hazards; particularly as urban sustainability, resiliency, and infrastructure initiatives increasingly reshape cities and elevate consideration of these topics. This essay begins with a review of fundamentals of urban ecosystems across multiple relevant disciplines leading to a proposed framework for comprehensive urban ecosystem management. It concludes with an application of the framework to create urban ecosystem typologies, a foundational tool in ecosystem management, within the context of Los Angeles, CA, USA. The conceptual framework may be adapted for other cities, particularly those with similar ecologies such as Mediterranean cities.