Last week the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES) had its spring meeting. Discussion focused on the theory of urban heterogeneity. If that sounds like it may be confusing, we got a great example (shown below) of how the patchy distribution of ash trees in Baltimore and the patchy invasion of emerald ash borer may cause unequally distributed health problems to vulnerable populations based on loss of tree canopy and elevated urban heat island effects.
Examining these connections and patterns helps us better understand urban systems and how the often abrupt changes in social, environmental, and economic conditions in cities can affect things as different (but connected) as the distribution of ash trees and the distribution of human heat stress vulnerability.
Please follow the BES Director’s Blog here and journey with us as we advance our understanding of cities as socio-ecological systems.