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The distinct ecological and social roles that wild spaces play in urban ecosystems

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 15:21 authored by Threlfall, CG, David Kendal
There is global interest in increasing the complexity of urban ecosystems to benefit both people and nature in cities. However, to successfully plan for and manage more complex landscapes greater attention is needed on understanding the complementary role of different types of green spaces in cities. Wild spaces occur in many forms across the landscape. In this paper, we discuss the different social and ecological roles that wild urban spaces play in our cities, and how they vary across space and time. We then assess the role and benefits of wild urban spaces in relation to other types of green space. Wild spaces are spatially and temporally diverse, and can act as refuges when other green spaces are not available. Many important differences exist in the composition, structure and management of wild spaces in comparison with other kinds of green space that drive their unique contribution to urban ecosystems. This discussion paper highlights these differences, and brings together knowledge of the role of wild spaces in urban landscapes from a multidisciplinary perspective.


Publication title

Urban Forestry and Urban Greening








School of Geography, Planning and Spatial Sciences


Elsevier GmbH

Place of publication


Rights statement

Copyright 2017 Elsevier GmbH

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Terrestrial biodiversity

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