Thursday, February 25, 2010

New article published in the Journal of Extension

Civic Ecology: Linking Social and Ecological Approaches in Extension

Marianne E. Krasny, Cornell University
Keith G. Tidball, Cornell University

Civic ecology refers to the philosophy and science of community forestry, community gardening, watershed enhancement, and other volunteer-driven restoration practices in cities and elsewhere. Such practices, although often viewed as initiatives to improve a degraded environment, also foster social attributes of resilient social-ecological systems, including volunteer engagement and social connectedness. Civic ecology education refers to the learning, as well as the social and ecosystem outcomes, that occur when young people and other novices engage alongside experienced adults in civic ecology practice. As Extension considers its role in civic ecology education, there will be opportunities for both participation and leadership.

Click here for the full article.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

UNESCO URBIS Partnerships concept

I have been working with colleagues at UNESCO NYO and the Stockholm Resilience Center, among others to build upon the work of CUBES to promote the concept of urban biosphere reserves. This concept was explored in depth in the book Urban Biosphere and Society: Partnership of Cities, edited by my colleague Christine Alfsen-Norodom.

Taking cues from the New York State Agricultural Environmental Management program's multi-tiered approach to stewardship, we are now working towards a designation process that uses a tiered approach to enable cities to work their way through comprehensive planning processes that link social and ecological sustainability. Successful implementation of five "urban sustainable comprehensive planning" tiers is envisioned to result in high-visibility designations of cities as "URBIS Partnership Cities of Distinction."

This prototypical concept is a work in progress, and is expected to be unveiled at a UNESCO URBIS Open House on March 4,2010, and in more depth at a poster presentation at the Million Trees NYC Research Symposium March 5-6, 2010.