Urban Ecology: Patterns of Population Growth and Ecological Effects


Currently, over 50% of the world’s population lives in urban areas. By 2050, this estimate is expected to be 70%. This urban growth, however, is not uniformly distributed around the world. The majority of it will occur in developing nations and create megacities whose populations exceed at least 10 million people. Not all urban areas, however, are growing. Some are actually losing populations because of changing economic conditions and population demographics. Whether a city is growing or losing population, governances face unique challenges with respect to infrastructural, water and transportation needs. To meet these challenges, agencies within city government are cooperating by pooling resources and removing conflicting policies, partnering with the private sector to offset costs of infrastructure, and taking new approaches to design infrastructure. By linking ecological theory with urban design, a more integrative approach to create liveable spaces, which are sustainable, can be achieved in rapidly expanding and shrinking urban areas.

  • Citation: Zipperer, Wayne C.; Pickett, Steward T.A. 2012. Urban Ecology: Patterns of Population Growth and Ecological Effects. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester. 1-8.
  • Posted Date: September 17, 2012
  • Modified Date: October 11, 2012
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