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Lecture 8

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Andre Sorensen

March 4 , 2014 GGRA lecture 8 • Ecology is the study of the relations of living organisms to each other and to their surroundings • People who study urban ecology look at cities as biotic systems • Cities create different sort of niches, different kinds of habitats • i.e. cities tend to have higher populations of racoons, squirrels • cities produce different kinds of habitats • cities are special environments that create high densities different kinds of populations for animals • We do this by how built cities, design, use of pesticides etc. • these environments aren’t empty • cities aren’t an ecological void, but a setting rich in certain species of plants, animals, birds, insects, diseases • cities provide breeding grounds for invasive species and diseases such as dengue fever, west Nile fever • KEY CONCEPT 1: • Urban ecology: the study of the relations of • Natural ecosystem consist of Closed and open loops • There aren’t any waste products in natural ecosystems • Cities as an ecosystem are not closed loops • i.e. Toronto imports stuff from other cities, we use them and then output waste • the volume of this flow materials and production of waste in on a huge scale • it’s to point that were impacting the global environment • what people are now looking at is how to close the loops March 4 , 2014 • KEY CONCEPT 2: a major contribution of urban ecology is to see cities as flows inputs & outputs • Cities as flows • One of the big inputs for cities is energy • Incredibly energy intensive • Part of the reason is energy has been very cheap • Throughout the 2th C energy kept on going down • Energy crisis has been shifting since the 1970s • Overall global demand is still rising faster than new sources has been found • New resources has been hard to extract • The likelihood is energy cost will go up, will change the way we create cities • Flows of energy • Huge impacts of fossils fuels make contemporary cities possible • There’s increasingly lots of effort taken on how to save energy • Flows of food • Food is an enormous industry that uses huge amount of energy • Local food is encouraged • Local industries are growing food locally in Toro
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