Eco-eco seminar series. "Urban Ecosystem Services and Technological Change".

Del 16/05/2012 al 16/05/2012

Jordi Honey-Roses (University of Illinois)

March 16th from 14h to 15h30 (Aula Q4/1003 Escola d'Enginyeria building)

Jordi Honey-Rosés is a PhD candidate in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign and a doctoral researcher at the Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA) in Girona, Spain. His doctoral thesis has studied how water treatment managers may integrate ecosystem services into decision-making in the Llobregat watershed near Barcelona, Spain. Prior to embarking in his doctoral studies Jordi worked at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Mexico in forest conservation and at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California Berkeley. He holds a Bachelors of Arts (B.A.) in Political Economy and a B.A. in History from UC Berkeley, and a Masters in Public Policy (M.P.P.) from Harvard University.

Research on ecosystem services has focused mostly on the conservation of open spaces, with only tangential mention of urban ecosystem services and their relationship with technological change. Environmental planners, scientists and managers often view technology a substitute for services previously obtained from ecosystems. This substitution ostensibly reduces our reliance on nature’s services since the superiority of the engineered system motivated the replacement in the first place. I argue that the expected tradeoff between natural and manufactured capital is false. Rather, the adoption of new technologies is complementary to ecosystem management. This point is illustrated with a case study that analyzes how the installation of sophisticated water treatment technology increased the value of ecosystem services in Barcelona, Spain. This finding suggests that technological change is not a barrier for the implementation of ideas about ecosystem services. Instead, we can expect the value of ecosystem services to co-evolve with technological change. I propose that new technologies may shift which ecosystem functions and structures are valuable but are unlikely to obviate the need for them entirely. New technologies can generate new opportunities to harness value from ecosystems, and the engineered structures found in cities may generate more reliance on ecosystem processes, not less.

Col·laboradors: Isabelle Anguelovski

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