Since the beginning of human kind, nature has provided humans with shelter, resources, etc., being an important part of their development. Although this relationship has changed and evolved from one of the main aspect in human life to areas dedicated to recreation and similar activities, the relationship between humans and nature is still present. This relationship is easily manifest in rural areas, where the population has a direct relationship with the nature, either by direct access to it, to the growth of food, etc. But in urban areas, this relationship is more limited, and it usually is directly related to the presence of blue and green spaces in the city.
The study of ecology is all about connections. By carefully using the principles of ecology, we can learn to predict, extinguish, respond and prevent potentially adverse effect we might have on the globe around us. Urban ecosystems are the cities, towns, and urban strips constructed by humans. This is the growth in the urban population and the supporting built infrastructure has affected both urban environments and also on areas which surround urban areas.
There are different urban ecosystems: street trees; lawns/parks; urban forests; cultivated land; wetlands; lakes; rivers ; sea; and streams.
Urban ecology studies the relations of mankind with each other and their surroundings including cities and urbanizing landscapes. There is a mutual interaction between cities and ecological processes such that both are affecting to each other.
Poor understanding of the complementary roles of urban ecology in urban infrastructure, and the functioning of ecosystems and ecological resilience of a complex human-dominated landscape has impeded effective urban planning over time, resulting in social disharmony.
The balance between resource consumption and generation is skewed (suddenly change direction or position).This has resulted in depletion and pollution of natural resources. In terms of effect to the water system, the result is drying up of natural water bodies at alarming rates; flooding during the monsoon and rapidly declining water table.
Cities themselves can combat these floods by turning into “sponge cities” and having urban sponges in urban areas – By utilizing wetlands – wet areas such as marsh, swamps or shallow ponds – as well as green spaces and floodplains, a city can absorb large amounts of water before it submerges its streets.
A sponge city and its component urban sponges is designed to passively absorb, control and clean rain water and flooding in an ecologically friendly way that conserves and improves water quality. Properly implemented a sponge city can reduce the frequency and severity of floods, improve water quality and allow cities to store rain and flood water and release it for reuse when needed.
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