Intergrating sciences to sustain urban ecosystem services

Lead Research Organisation: University of Abertay Dundee
Department Name: Sch of Social and Health Sciences

Abstract

The ISSUES seminar series was established to develop new links between disciplines and new collaborative relationships. Six interdisciplinary seminars were held between 2008 and 2010, five in the UK and one in Germany.



The ISSUES seminar series developed an active multi-disciplinary network, which included representatives from 18 universities, three research institutes, six Government departments and environmental regulators, three wildlife trusts, five environmental consultancies and six local/regional authorities.



The key finding to emerge from the seminars was the conclusion that the Ecosystem Service (ES) approach provides a workable framework for multi-discipline research and knowledge exchange. The seminars enabled participation in multi-disciplinary discussions and field-visits which directly informed the research of the participants. The novel application of an ES approach to an urban water setting was pioneered and resulted in publication of a peer-review journal paper, and the co-organisers went on to contribute to the major technical report The UK National Ecosystem Assessment published in 2011.

Publications


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Lundy L (2011) Integrating sciences to sustain urban ecosystem services in Progress in Physical Geography
 
Description Findings/Developments:
ISSUES was a seminar series, therefore findings arising from the funding are primarily new links between disciplines and new collaborative relationships. The outputs are proposals and publications.

Findings: The key finding to emerge is that the ES approach provides a workable framework for multi-discipline research and knowledge exchange. This was evidenced by repeat attendance by representatives of many disciplines. Thus demonstrating a commitment to the ISSUES concept, the usefulness of the events and the success of its objectives in terms of knowledge exchange. This is further evidenced by the co-development of research proposals by many of the ISSUES delegates (evidence below).
Outputs: Multi-disciplinary discussions which took place during seminars and field-visits directly informed the research of Lundy and Wade on the novel application of an ES approach in an urban water setting, leading to a peer-review journal paper (see below). Personal research agendas of both investigators have also been significantly enhanced through contacts made during ISSUES. Practical skills in identifying ES were also developed through field visits in Seminars 3 and 5.
Publications:
Contribution (Wade and Lundy) to the Urban Chapter of the UK National Ecosystem Assessment (UK NEA), a UNEP initiative. Key Findings were reported to UK Government in March 2011, Full publication 2011. (Contributions from ISSUES delegates and funders are acknowledged)
Lundy, L. and Wade, R (2011) Integrating Sciences to Sustain Urban Ecosystem Services. Contribution to a Special Issue for the Journal Progress in Physical Geography. Special Issue title: Creating a new prosperity: Fresh approaches to ecosystem services and human well-being. Volume 35 Issue 5 October 2011 pp. 657 - 674.
Exploitation Route ISSUES-linked contributions to policy and practice outside of academia include:
• Identification of data gaps and priority research needs to support implementation of Defra's Natural Value Programme
• Contribution to the development of UK Government Policy at a national level.
• The development of new knowledge relating to ES and practical skills in applying an ES approach within several areas of environmental management practice.
• The involvement of ISSUES participants in the UK NEA will contribute to the next environment white paper
• Communication to the public e.g. Public Talks (and associated YouTube videos for wider access), Articles in the Dundee Courier, HERO (on-line), and University press releases (Abertay and Middlesex Universities).

The seminars have also had impact on Policy makers in terms of:
• Increasing their knowledge and perceptions of the research field, providing a platform for open exchange of views.
• The political impact of the Series on their area of operation on policy (awareness of urban water ES and informed identification of research needs and gaps).

The wider dissemination of information on urban ES to the general public both directly and through the media. This has contributed to improved provision of urban amenity, ecology through water management.
Sectors Construction,Education,Environment,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
URL http://issues.abertay.ac.uk/
 
Description IMPACT The ISSUES seminar series has achieved significant impact in terms of its development of an active multi-disciplinary network, which includes representatives from 18 universities, 3 research institutes, 6 Government departments and environmental regulators, 3 wildlife trusts, 5 environmental consultancies and 6 local/regional authorities. Development of this network has encouraged and facilitated knowledge exchange through its open and inclusive agenda, with network members continuing to communicate post-completion of the grant award, thus increasing UK research capacity. Development and maintenance of the ISSUES network has increased the number of personal research contacts between individuals from various disciplines, and has increased linkages both within and across UK research institutions. This is evidenced by the submission of several research proposals to address ISSUES-inspired multi-disciplinary research questions, which has increased collaborative research activity. New research capacity has been developed through ISSUES by, for example, the training of delegates in the identification of ecosystem services (ES) in the field, with ISSUES-derived knowledge directly enabling the co-organisers to teach and supervise undergraduate and postgraduate students within the field of urban ES, additionally enhancing their own personal research agendas. In terms of empirical understanding, the observations and experiences generated through ISSUES is clear evidence that an ES approach is a workable framework to bring together findings from multiple disciplines. This is evidenced through both the development of several multi-disciplinary research proposals and the acceptance for publication of a peer-review paper which critically evaluates the role of urban water bodies as urban ES providers.
First Year Of Impact 2012
Sector Construction,Environment
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Economic
 
Description Abertay Uni and Middlesex Uni 
Organisation Middlesex University
Department Urban Pollution Research Centre
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Enhanced networking research support reviewing funding opportunities
Collaborator Contribution Enhanced networking research support reviewing funding opportunities
Impact Paper publications and co-supervision of students
Start Year 2006
 
Description Cafe science Dundee 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact 75 members of the public attended a 'Cafe Science Dundee' talk at Dundee Science Centre. I presented an accessible introduction to my research and particularly to the work of the ISSUES project. There was a discussion session afterwards. This was an invited talk, part of the cafe science (extra) Dundee 2009/10 season.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
URL http://www.cafesciencedundee.co.uk