Browsing by Subject "Cities"

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  • Elands, B.H.M.; Vierikko, K.; Andersson, E.; Fischer, L.K.; Gonçalves, P.; Haase, D.; Kowarik, I.; Luz, A.C.; Niemelä, J.; Santos-Reis, M.; Wiersum, K.F. (2019)
    Biocultural diversity is an evolving perspective for studying the interrelatedness between people and their natural environment, not only in ecoregional hotspots and cultural landscapes, but also in urban green spaces. Developed in the 1990s in order to denote the diversity of life in all its manifestations. biological, cultural and linguistic. co-evolving within complex socio-ecological systems such as cities, biocultural diversity was identified in the GREEN SURGE project as a response to recent challenges cities face. Most important challenges are the loss of nature and degradation of ecosystems in and around cities as well as an alienation of urban residents from and loss of interaction with nature. The notion of biocultural diversity is dynamic in nature and takes local values and practices of relating to biodiversity of different cultural groups as a starting point for sustainable living with biodiversity. The issue is not only how to preserve or restore biocultural practices and values, but also how to modify, adapt and create biocultural diversity in ways that resonate with urban transformations. As future societies will largely diverge from today's societies, the cultural perspective on living with (urban) nature needs careful reconsideration. Biocultural diversity is not conceived as a definite concept providing prescriptions of what to see and study, but as a reflexive and sensitising concept that can be used to assess the different values and knowledge of people that reflect how they live with biodiversity. This short communication paper introduces a conceptual framework for studying the multi-dimensional features of biocultural diversity in cities along the three key dimensions of materialized, lived and stewardship, being departure points from which biocultural diversity can be studied.
  • Heikkinen, Milja; Ylä-Anttila, Tuomas; Juhola, Sirkku (2019)
    In light of the relatively modest achievements of international climate change governance, high hopes are being placed on global city networks as an essential solution to problems in climate change adaptation and mitigation. The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, in particular, promotes itself as a network that enables cities to learn from each other in their efforts to confront climate change. Very little is known, however, about what kind of change the network promotes and how transformative the proposed solutions are. We assess the degree of (anticipated) change based on a stratified sample of twelve cities participating in the C40 network, signalled by adaptation and mitigation actions described in their policy documents. Our findings indicate that most proposed measures support the status quo, with the majority of actions focusing on infrastructure and technology, and only a few transformational climate measures are envisaged by the cities.
  • Nygren, Anja Kaarina (2018)
    Cities in different parts of the world are going through intensive transformations based on institutional efforts to govern urban spaces and populations in the face of global environmental change and neoliberalization of governance. This essay examines inequalities and interconnectivities in urban governance and justice, drawing on a case-study of three, socially-differentiated sectors of the city of Villahermosa, Mexico, between 2011 and 2016. My analysis contributes to a multi-dimensional approach toward justice, and the cognate fields of right to the city, and segregation and inequality, that encompasses: (1) (re)distribution of residents’ exposure to risks and access to services; (2) recognition of the causes and consequences of risks and vulnerabilities; (3) fields of representation available for different residents; and (4) residents’ capabilities to recover from disasters and achieve everyday well-being within the existing urban governance and service provision structures. Instead of conceptualizing segregated cities as composed of isolated worlds, I argue that it is only possible to understand how the prevailing forms of governance produce multifaceted inequalities through a relational analysis of how residents from different parts of the city interact with the authorities and with each other. The study shows how residents’ tactics to accommodate, reconfigure and contest institutional endeavors to place them in hierarchical positions link to their differentiated ways of constructing urban space.
  • Goodsite, Michael Evan; Moldrup, Mathilde; Hubbard, Emil Egerod; Atlason, Reynir Smari; Juhola, Sirkku (Springer, 2017)
    NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C-Environmental Security
    The challenges of sustainability are becoming more apparent and changes need to take place in how we organise collectively. This book stems from and builds on a collaboration and collective learning between the military and the civilian world in order to facilitate discussion of the current state of triple net zero and long-term and sustainable energy strategies. It is widely recognized that implementation of policies to benefit environmental sustainability, energy security, and preparedness at both military installations and small cities are imperative, since energy is intricately linked to the entire set of net zero goals and vision. Here the focus is especially on learning from best practices across these two domains.
  • Hovatta, Iiris; Hovatta, Outi (2018)
  • Elands, Birgit H. M.; Wiersum, K. Freerk; Buijs, Arjen E.; Vierikko, Kati (2015)
    Biocultural diversity, which refers to the inextricable link between biodiversity and cultural diversity, has been predominantly associated with the traditional ways in which indigenous people in tropical countries interact with the natural environment. But it does not have to be restricted to these circumstances. Biocultural diversity may also be regarded as an interesting concept for understanding how people in industrialized and globalized societies deal with nature. This paper explores biocultural diversity in 20 European cities by considering (i) how biocultural diversity is interpreted in urban planning and governance, and (ii) what actual manifestations of biocultural diversity are present in these cities. Despite the fact that the concept of biocultural diversity was hardly recognized by city authorities, interviewees gave many examples of how biodiversity and cultural diversity are taken into account in (in) formal city policies. The research revealed two main manifestations of biocultural diversity within urban Europe: biocultural diversity grounded in ecological features, and cultural values as a basic foundation for biocultural diversity. Consequently, urban biocultural diversity was found to have two spatial levels: the city level and the site level. The former is the domain of governmental policy makers who discuss biocultural diversity in 'green space networks' in a rather static way. The latter is the domain where citizens participate in decisionmaking and the management of green spaces; it is here that cultural dynamics are most acknowledged.
  • Klein, Johannes; Araos, Malcolm; Karimo, Aasa; Heikkinen, Milja; Ylä-Anttila, Tuomas; Juhola, Sirkku (2018)
    Expectations of cooperation between local authorities, the private sector, and citizens in climate change adaptation in cities are high because involvement of many actors is seen as critical to success. Scholars and policymakers argue that the private sector could be more efficient than the public authorities in implementing adaptation measures and argue for the need to engage citizens to ensure legitimacy of adaptation and inclusion of locally relevant knowledge. To what extent do cities address the private sector and citizens in their adaptation initiatives? What modes of governance do they use to do this? What kinds of cities are the most likely to address the private sector and citizens? Going beyond the existing case study approaches, this paper answers these questions using a large N data set covering 402 cities around the world. We find that a majority of adaptation initiatives focus exclusively on the public sector and do not address the private sector or citizens. In the cases where they do, the private sector is more often governed through partnerships and participation, whereas citizen participation is relatively rare. Initiatives involving citizens rely more often on a provision of information that encourages citizens to adapt. We find that the more advanced a city is in its adaptation process, the more likely it is to address the private sector than citizens in its initiatives to adapt to climate change. Whereas with partnerships and participation the private sector can influence urban adaptation arrangements at a broader scale, the provision of information allows citizens only to implement individual adaptation measures according to their capacities.