Past Events

SURE Summer School 21 to 26 August 2017 in Bucharest (Romania) :

Urban Climate Change Challenge: Monitoring, Assessment & Adaptation

Venue: Bucharest, Romania – University of Bucharest

Organizers:                                                                              Research Institute of University of Bucharest (ICUB), Urban Climate Research Center at Arizona State University (ASU), Urban Water Innovation Network (ASU-CSU), Society for Urban Ecology (SURE – Chapter South-East Europe), and Interdisciplinary Center of Advanced Research on Territorial Dynamics (CICADIT)


Aim: The summer school wanted to provide structured information, skill development and capacity building related to climate change challenges in urban areas, with a primary focus of creating an active pool of young scientists that tackle the major sustainability challenges facing future generations.

Rationale and goals: Urban areas impart significant local to regional scale environmental perturbation. Urban-induced effects, simultaneously with impacts owing to long-lived emissions of greenhouse gases, may trigger additional physical and socioeconomic consequences that affect the livelihoods of urban dwellers. While urban areas amass more than 50% of the world population, and three of four Europeans live in a city, the systematic monitoring and assessment of urban climates, mitigation of and adaptation to adverse effects, and the strategic prioritization of potential solutions may enable enhanced preparedness of populations and local authorities. Such challenges call for enduring scientific advancements, improved training and increased awareness of topical issues.

The critical areas covered refered to:

(1) modern monitoring of urban environments

(2) modelling tools used in urban meteorology and climatology

(3) adaptation and mitigation strategies and their prioritisation

(4) exploring critical linkages among environmental factors and emerging and chronic health threats and health disparities.

The summer school was intended for doctoral and post-doctoral students who already have basic knowledge and interest for urban climate issues.

More information

International Workshop 6-9 July 2017 in Bucharest

Green Infrastructure for Sustainable Urban Planning

Venue: University of Bucharest, Faculty of Geography, Bucharest, Romania

Organizer: Centre for Environmental Research and Impact Studies, Faculty of Geography – University of Bucharest and Society for Urban Ecology – South East Europe Chapter

The workshop was aiming to represent a platform of debates which help scientists, public administration and other stakeholders exchange experiences on the use of Green Infrastructures (GI) in the sustainable planning of cities.

More Information


Conference report


SURE Summer School 3 – 8 July 2017 in Salzburg:

Sustainability of environment and development in urban regions – The case of Salzburg region, Austria

Venue: Salzburg, Austria – Paris Lodron University, Nature Science Faculty Building, Hellbrunnerstr. 34

Subject: Sustainability of environment and development in urban regions – The case of Salzburg region, Austria

Organizer: Society for Urban Ecology (SURE) in Partnership with Urban and Landscape Research Group, University Salzburg, Austria (Univ.-Prof. Dr. Breuste) – Chapter Central Europe


Partner:  THEI – Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong, China, Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Horticulture and Landscape Management Faculty of Design and Environment (Assistant Prof. Allen Zhang, Program Leader)

Participants: MA, PhD and Employed from the TU Dresden, University of Salzburg, University of Bucharest (Rumania) and Universidad CAECE, Buenos Aires (Argentina)

Course Content:

Course structure: Half day lecture and half day field trip, or the whole day lecture, or the whole day field trip in each day, one day excursion to the Austrian Eco-City solarCity Linz, Pichling

1) Natural Environment – Definition of nature and environment, humans in natural environments, natural and artificial environments, environmental ethics

2) Overview of Environment Issues – Environmental concerns, atmospheric emissions, water pollution, solid and hazardous wastes, radioactive wastes, depletion of natural resources, land use and ecological impacts

3) Environmental problems – Environmental impacts of the automobile, fuel and energy requirements, clean technology, the role of electric power, overview of environmental impacts, alternative energy sources and technology, outlook of alternative energy technology

4) Urban air pollution – Air quality, accumulation of pollutants in an urban area, ozone in urban area, controlling ozone formation

5) Global warming and the Greenhouse Effect – Fundamentals of the greenhouse effect, radiative forcing of climate change, temperature changes from radiative forcing, climate changes, carbon emission and energy use, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, future outlook

6) Defending the environment – Changing attitudes, nature conservative, environmentalism

7) Politicizing the environment – A politics of nature, ecologism: a new political ideology, the emergence of green politics

8) Sustaining the environment and globalization – The idea of sustainable development, history of sustainable development, sustainable development in practice, sustainable society, global environment, globalization, global problem and global solutions


Programme of the Excursion

First South Asian Regional SURE Conference, 18-22 January 2017 in Karachi, Pakistan

Venue: Department of Geography, University of Karachi and International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences, University of Karachi

Subject: Urban Ecology and Frontiers of Sustainable Development

Organizer: Prof. Dr. Jamil Kazmi (SURE‐South Asia, President)
Prof. Dr. Salman Qureshi (Humboldt University Berlin, Germany)

Contact: Prof. Dr. Jamil Kazmi, Dr. Safdar Ali Shirazi

This Conference was an attempt to provide an opportunity for academicians, researchers and professionals working in the field of Urban Ecology across South Asia as well as in the world to meet and keep abreast of the latest developments in the discipline and its multifarious impacts on physical, economic and social-cultural development in the South Asian Countries.


Conference report

Workshops on Urban Agriculture 10 – 13 January 2017 in Bogotá, Colombia

Venue: Bogotá – Pontificia University Javeriana, University ECCI, Bosa, Reserva Umbral Cultural Horizontes, Foundation Cerros de Bogotá

Subject: Different themes under the main theme “Urban Agriculture”

Organizer: collaboration between EcoNat, Instituto Humboldt Colombia and the Society for Urban Ecology


The Spanish expert in urban agriculture Raúl Puente PhD and research lecturers of the allied universities was invited to participate in the workshops.


Urban agriculture as an instrument of public politics.
Urban agriculture as an instrument on social intervention
Urban agriculture as an instrument of social intervention – Studies on Caso Bosa
Urban agriculture as environmental education, leisure and social cohesion


Read the Conference Report


2nd Annual International Symposium on Ecological Wisdom 17 – 20 November 2016 in Austin, Texas

Venue: The School of Architecture at The University of Texas at Austin

Subject: Ecological Wisdom Inspired Urban Resilience: Building Strategies, Tenets, and Practice.

Organizer: collaboration between UT Austin, Tongji University (Shanghai), East China Normal University, (Shanghai), and the International Society for Ecological Wisdom

Contact: Dr. Robert Young, University of Texas at Austin

The conference brought together over forty presenters—the best and brightest minds in the field of ecological wisdom. Fritz Steiner, former dean of UT Austin’s School of Architecture, now dean of PennDesign, will provide the keynote address. The three-day event included speakers from around the globe, and concluded with a field trip to a still-operating irrigation complex from the early 1700s, as well as a retooled section of the irrigation system that became the “Riverwalk” in downtown San Antonio.


An interdisciplinary field of study, ecology wisdom caters to engineers, architects and landscape architects, planners, historic preservationists, and designers, among other practitioners. The November symposium is targeted to academics and professionals in those fields, and to laypersons with an interest in ecological wisdom.


  Ecological wisdom knowledge domain and manifestation
  Relationships between ecological wisdom and contemporary science and technology
  Exemplary cases and revelations from trans-cultural and transdisciplinary traditions
  Theoretical frameworks of ecological wisdom research and practice
  Theoretical core of ecological wisdom and research methods (e.g., the nexus of ecological theoretical wisdom—ecosophy and ecological practical wisdom—ecophronesis)
  General principles of ecological wisdom and its application in contemporary landscape planning, design, and management                                                            Social-learning in ecological wisdom acquisition and ecophronesis


Workshop and Field Trip – SURE – SE Europe Chapter 31 August – 3 September 2016 in Bucharest – Third edition of the workshop organized by the Society for Urban Ecology – Chapter South Eastern Europe at the Faculty of Geography

Title: How much nature can we have in our cities?

Venue: University of Bucharest, Faculty of Geography

Organizer: SURE – SE Europe Chapter in collaboration with the Centre for Environmental Research and Impact Studies and the Faculty of Geography – University of Bucharest

Key Dates : August 31 – Workshop in Bucharest (Faculty of Geography); September 1 – September 3 – Field trip in Dobrogea and the Danube Delta

Workshop Website


This workshop in Bucharest was the third edition of the international workshops under the title Nature Conservation and Urban Development – How to manage together?.

The workshop benefited from the participation of 35 experts in the fields of conservation biology, urbanism, geography, biology and environmental sciences, representing the Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests, prestigious research centers from the University of Bucharest (Centre for Environmental Research and Impact Studies – CCMESI, Interdisciplinary Center of Advanced Research on Territorial Dynamics – CICADIT, Center for Integrated Analysis and Territorial Management – CAIMT), universities (Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism, University of Craiova), research institutes (National Institute for Research and Development in Constructions, Urban Planning and Sustainable Spatial Development URBAN-INCERC, Biology Institute of the Romanian Academy, National Research-Development Institute for Environmental Protection – INCDPM),  Romanian Spatial Agency – ROSA and the consultancy company Multidimension SRL. At the workshop has been participated the students of Integrated Environment Impact Assessement master programm.

The workshop was attended by the president of Society for Urban Ecology, Professor Jürgen Breuste (Germany) and by one of the members of the Executive Committee, Henri Garay Sarasti (ECONAT Bogota, Colombia).

Two main themes of discussion were present in the workshop schedule: the relation between Natura 2000 sites and urbanization and limits of cities and nature. … READ MORE

International Workshop “Urban biodiversity versus functional design in cities? – The case of urban trees”, organized on behalf of IALE-D Zentrums für Landschaftsforschung (CeLaRe) and the Society for Urban Ecology (SURE) from 9th June to 10th June 2016 in the Department of Geography and Geology, University of Salzburg

Urban trees are key structural elements of green infrastructure in cities and the long-term value of their ecosystem services is a key objective of urban ecosystem management. The functional design of powerful urban nature seeks to optimize ecosystem services. Performant urban trees are integral parts of climate-adapted urban planning and development.


In practice, these normative models and prescriptions are facing several challenges. These range from the evidence-based tree species selection for urban spaces, on to the consideration of the ecological value of urban trees for biodiversity, and to the aesthetic demands of urban residents and questions of appreciation and acceptance of urban trees. The workshop offered 33 participants from six countries (Austria, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Italy, Romania) a platform for discussing these issues. Four keynote talks and eight short talks of senior scientists and early career scientists presented results of mainly empirical research. On the one hand, researchers focus on the interrelations between ecosystem services and ecophysiology of urban trees under climate change. O the other hand, many studies concentrate on cultural ecosystem services of urban trees and ecosystems. In sum, the talks spanned topics and research in forest science, forest growth and yield science, presented projects on databases for selections of city trees of the future, discussed the modeling of ecosystem services provided by urban trees and presented empirical studies of environmental psychology on the perception of urban trees and their importance for the city dwellers. A field trip completed the workshop program: A city tour on urban trees led by Magister Nowotny who has been surveying Salzburg city trees for 30 years now and who works for the provincial government of Salzburg took the workshop participants to the field for discussing tree care, novel species, tree control and protection in the urban context of Salzburg. On the second day, workshop talks and the discussion focused on future issues and open questions concerning the compatibility of climate change adapted urban tree management with biodiversity conservation in the city. This workshop organized on behalf of IALE-D Centre for Landscape Research (CeLaRe) and the Society for Urban Ecology (SURE) has thus provided a platform for state-of-the-art scientific exchange on these issues and has given much space to the dialogue between research and practice.

Angela Hof and Jürgen Breuste

See the programme with the abstracts

4th SURE Summer School 11 – 15 July 2016 in Shanghai

Subject: Benefiting from nature in growing cities


  1. Urban development and urban ecosystem services
  2. Biodiversity and ecosystem services
  3. Analysis of urban ecosystem services and urban land management
  4. Socio-ecological systems and conflict moderation
  5. The urban metabolism – integrating urban ecosystem services into functional design
  6. Planning urban ecosystem services – instruments, methods, stakeholders




2nd SURE World Conference, 8-10 July 2016 in Shanghai: „Challenges for Urban Ecology by Rapid Urbanization and Global Environmental Change“

Organizers: SURE, East China Normal University (ECNU) and co-organized by SURE-China Chapter, Research Center of Eco-Environmental Sciences (RCEES), CAS, China, Institute of Urban Environment (IUE), CAS, China, and Center for Human-Environment System Sustainability (CHESS), Beijing Normal University (BNU), China

Conference website:


Programme of the parallel sessions

Programm of the plenary sessions


The second Congress was a real success: Nearly 350 participants from more than 20 countries worldwide such as USA, Canada, Argentina, Colombia, UK, Germany, France, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Slovakia, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Pakistan, China, etc. took part in the congress and six distinguished leading scientists on urban ecology and environmental science

The congress totally received 254 abstracts, 168 oral presentations and 47 poster presentations covering wide research interests in the field of urban ecology.

During the congress, SURE had an assemblage meeting and completed the election of the new board of executive committee member. Prof. Jürgen Breuste was elected to his second term of the SURE president.

Conference Report

SURE-Workshop at the International Conference "ECOSMART" in Bucharest (12 - 15 November 2015)

SURE-Workshop “Challenges in the assessment of urban ecosystems services” at the International Conference “Environment at CrossrOads: SMART approaches for a sustainable future – ECOSMART”

Organizers of the Conference: University of Bucharest, Faculty of Geography

Partners: The SURE-workshop will be coordinated by Prof. Jürgen Breuste (President of SURE) and Prof. Cristian Ioja (President of SURE Chapter South-East Europe).

Date: 12 – 15 November 2015

Venue: Bucharest, Romania

Conference Homepage:

The conference marked the 115th year of Geography education at the University of Bucharest, and the 25th anniversary of the Faculty of Geography.

During of ECOSMART Conference, Society for Urban Ecology – Chapter South-Eastern Europe (SURE – SEE) organized the parallel workshop “Challenges in the assessment of urban ecosystems services”.

The main topics of the SURE-workshop were:

  1. Urban Ecosystems Services: Theories, Concepts, Issues
  2. Methodologies for assessing urban ecosystems services
  3. GIS for modeling urban ecosystems services
  4. Remote sensing for evaluating urban ecosystems services
  5. Urban ecosystems disservices
  6. Best practice in urban ecosystems services assessment
  7. Trade-off conflicts assessment

The SURE-workshop had 4 parts:

  (I) plenary session
  (II) presentations of the participants and discussions on the proposed topics
  (III) visit to the Văcărești area (abandoned area of Bucharest, where the natural succession of ecosystems changed the approach of public institutions) and
  (IV) matchmaking section for a future Horizon 2020 project

The best paper presented in the workshop by a PhD student or young researcher won the SURE-SEE Award.

The official language of the manifestation was English. The conference offered to participants significant publishing opportunities for full papers.

First International Symposium on Urban Ecology of the Society in Latin America in Bogotá (8-10th September 2015)

First International Symposium on Urban Ecology of the Society in Latin America

Organizers: Jürgen Breuste (SURE), Bridge Baptiste (Alexander Von Humboldt Institute), Henry Garay Sarasti (EcoNat) and Cecilia Herzog (SURE Brazil)


Date: 8-10th September 2015

Venue: Bogotá, Colombia

The event featured world experts belonging to the society and that form part of urban transformation processes in cities like Berlin, Seoul, New York, Shanghai, among others. Likewise, the event had a format that allow the participation of academic experts and decision makers from both public bodies and companies in the construction sector.

The topics discussed at the symposium were: Urbanization, Eco-Cities & Urban Environmental Management; Green & Blue Infrastructure; Biodiversity in the Built Environment.

For more information, please visit the webpage:

See the programme

Video about the conference:

International Workshop Environmental Conflicts (September 4 – 6, 2014, Bucharest, Romania)

International Workshop Environmental Conflicts: Planning, Issues and Resolution

Organizer: Centre for Environmental Research and Impact Studies, University of Bucharest

Partners: SURE – Society for Urban Ecology, Faculty of Geography, Association for Biodiversity Conservation, Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research, CNCS – UEFISCDI

Date: September 4-6, 2014

Venue: Bucharest, Romania

Final report of an excellent research:

For celebrating 150 years since the establishment of the University of Bucharest, the Centre for Environmental Research and Impact Studies, in partnership with the Department of Geography, the Association for Biodiversity Conservation and S.U.R.E. (Society for Urban Ecology), has organized on September 4th – 6th,2014, The International Workshop entitled Environmental conflicts – planning, issues and resolution. The venue of the Workshop has been the picturesque location of the Alumni House Bucharest (Casa Universitarilor).

The aim of the workshop was to facilitate interdisciplinary dialogue between academics, practitioners and public authorities dealing with aspects such as environmental conflicts analysis, assessment as well as conflicts resolution.

The International Workshop Environmental conflicts – planning, issues and resolution provided an ideal opportunity to share perspectives and to discuss important topics for scientific research in the field of Environmental Science. The topics were related to the advanced assessment of environmental conflicts. An important session of the workshop focused on the presentation of the scientific results achieved within the research project PN-II-RU-TE-2011-3-0285 Modeling of environmental impact induced by the typologies of incompatible land uses in human settlements, funded by the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research, CNCS – UEFISCDI.

The main research topics of the workshop concerned:

  Environmental conflicts: conceptual and practical issues
  Methodologies for the spatial and temporal assessment of environmental conflicts
  The socio-economic projection of environmental conflicts
  Types of environmental conflicts
  Measures for the anticipation and resolution of environmental conflicts

The opening remarks on the workshop were given by Magdalena Platis, Vice-Rector of the University of Bucharest, who emphasized the importance of organizing such events in order to increase the international visibility and to maintain University of Bucharest at the top of the higher education institutions from Romania.

The opening statement was followed by a message from the Dean of the Geography Department, Laura Comănescu, who stated how pleasant is to have such scientific events organized by the young researchers who have achieved notable scientific results at international level in the field of Environmental Science.

Also at the opening ceremony, Professor Jurgen Breuste, President of S.U.R.E. (Society for Urban Ecology), emphasized the state-of-the-art science that the workshop debates and expressed his hope that the Centre for Environmental Research and Impact Studies will become an important regional chapter for SURE in Eastern Europe in the future.

During the workshop sessions, four plenary speakers, recognized as important scientific personalities, have been invited:

  André Torre – Institute National de la Recherche Agronomique, France – The role of conflicts and negotiations in environmental and land-use conflicts;
  Ioan Ianos – University of Bucharest – Land-use conflicts – genesis by a passive urban management;
  Anna Hersperger – Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research – Land-use conflict anticipation and resolution: insight for spatial planning;
  Jürgen Breuste, University of Salzburg and president of SURE) – Urban Ecosystems Services: Urban green spaces as providers.

Each of the four plenary sessions were followed by scientific discussions of different case studies related to environmental conflicts, presented by researchers from Romania, Poland, Belgium, Germany and Malaysia.

Of particular interest was the presentation of the articles published within the research project PN-II-RU-TE-2011-3-0285 Modeling of environmental impact induced by the typologies of incompatible land uses in human settlements, funded by the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research, CNCS – UEFISCDI.

  Iojă. I.C., Grădinaru, S.R., Onose, D.A., Vânău, G.O, Tudor, A.C. (2014), The potential of school green areas to improve urban green connectivity and multifunctionality, Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 13(4),
  Iojă, I.C., Niță, M.R., Vânău G.O., Onose, D.A., Gavrilidis A.A. (2014), Using multi-criteria analysis in identifying spatial land-use conflicts in the Bucharest Metropolitan Area, Ecological Indicators, 42(1), p.112-121,
  Niță, M.R., Iojă, I. C., Rozylowicz, L., Onose, D., Tudor, A. (2014), Land use consequences of cemeteries evolution in Bucharest Metropolitan Area, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 57(7), p. 1066-1082, DOI:10.1080/09640568.2013.815607
  Tudor, C.A., Iojă, I.C., Stupariu, I., Niță, M., Hersperger, A. (2014), How successful is the resolution of land-use conflicts? A comparison of cases from Switzerland and Romania, Applied Geography, 47, 125-136,
  Tudor, A.C., Iojă, I.C., Hersperger, A., Patru-Stupariu, I. (2013), Is the Residential Land Use Incompatible with Cemeteries Location? Assessing the Attitudes of Urban Residents, Carpathian Journal of Earth and Environmental Sciences, 8(2), p. 153 – 162,

During the workshop, the Department of Geography awarded two personalities with “Simion Mehedinti” Medal of Honour: Prof. Jurgen Breuste, President of Society for Urban Ecology and Anna Hersperger, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research. It was a sign of recognition for their long term cooperation with the University of Bucharest in the field of Geography and Environmental Science.

The workshop included three practical sessions which were focused on presenting the areas with environmental conflict in Romania.

“The outstanding efforts of the organizing committee of this scientific event were fully worth. The enormous input regarding the research methodologies for environmental conflicts brought by the four invited plenary speakers, the productive discussions on a multidisciplinary topic, the validation and dissemination of our research conducted within the research project Young Teams funded by UEFISCDI, the future potential collaborations with participants from other countries, and the participation of a significant number of students from the Master Program «The Integrated Assessment of Environmental State» and the Bachelor Program «Environmental Geography», all these I consider the strongest arguments for the success of this scientific event”, said Prof Cristian Iojă, the President of the Organizing Committee.

See the Worshop Schedule for more information

Papers presented in the conference will be published as articles in Carpathian Journal of Earth and Environmental Sciences. Papers must fulfill the editorial requirements of the journal. The articles will follow the revision process of the journal, facilitated by the organizing committee.

The Salzburg Summer School on Allotment Gardens in European Cities in Salzburg (1-4 July 2014)

The Salzburg Summer School on Allotment Gardens in European Cities

The Salzburg Working Group Urban and Landscape Ecology together with the COST Action TU 1201 Urban Allotment Gardens in European Cities – Future, Challenges and Lessons Learned ( and and the Society for Urban Ecology (SURE) (‎) organize

The Salzburg Summer School on Allotment Gardens in European Cities
1-4 July 2014 in Salzburg, Austria
Venue:  Paris-Lodron University Salzburg, Hellbrunnerstraße 34

The subject of the Summer School was allotment gardens in the context of the European cities including all relevant aspects of allotment gardens development in Europe. Our focus will be on four research areas: Planning and Policy, Sociology, Ecology, and Urban Design.

31 participants from 14 European and 4 Asian countries joined the Summer School (at master or PhD level and early stage researchers).  

All students attended all scheduled sessions in order to acquire an integrated view on the subject area of this Summer School (i.e. European Allotments).

The following reputed scientists from different European countries supported the Summer School as tutors:

1. Planning and Policy: Dr Nazila Keshavarz, Germany (COST), Dr Chiara Certomà, Italy (COST)

2. Sociology: Prof. Johan Bastard, Norway (COST), Dr. Cristian Ioja, Romania (SURE)

3. Ecology: Prof. Andrzej Mizgajski, Poland (COST), Dr. Burghard Meyer, Germany (SURE)

4. Urban Design: Prof. Dagmar Haase, Germany (SURE), Mr Russel Good UK (COST)

All students were able and had the interest to do preparative works for the Summer School in advance, following the requirements of the tutors that will be informed in due course.


For any questions please contact the local organizers: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Jürgen Breuste ( or Dr. Annette Voigt (

New research concepts and research questions on ecological aspects of allotment gardens were developed during the Summer School: … READ MORE

Natureparif Congress 2014 in Paris (4 – 5 June 2014, Field trips 6 – 7 June 2014)

Natureparif Congress 2014 in Paris

Health, well-being and adaptation to climate change

Date: 4 – 5 June 2014, Field trips 6 – 7 June 2014
Location: Paris, Halle Pajol Center 
Organisators: Natureparif and Ile de France in partnership with the Society for Urban Ecology, the Urban Climate Change Research Network, iEES and Université Paris-Sud-CNRSAgroParisTech

The Society for Urban Ecology co-organized together with Natureparif and the Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN) the Natureparif Congress, 4-5 June 2014 in Paris: “Nature in the city – Health, well-being and adaptation to climate change”. 

For more information about the conference (program, practical information, accommodation) see the conference website or the conference report.

Members of SURE that contacted Martina Artmann got 50% off.


Global change, including climate change, has increasing influence on urban areas and citizens. Extreme climatic events such as storms, floods or urban heat are becoming more frequent, as well as changes in species distribution including pathogens.

Until recently, the fight against climate change has often been associated with technological choices (eg. covering river banks with concrete to prevent flooding, white painting on rooftops or evaporative cooler to reduce urban heat or technical carbon storage in soils). But more and more research shows that working with nature can be the most effective way to solve these interrelated issues. As climate change and biodiversity erosion are mutually reinforcing, environmental issues need to be addressed in a global approach. Restoring urban ecological functions will enforce city resilience while having a positive effect on human health and well being.

Indeed, greening the city can provide multiple benefits for citizens such as food production, microclimate control, soil infiltration, carbon sequestration, visual quality, recreation, and social capital. Many results show that urban vegetation helps to reduce urban heat and reduce pollution by filtration. Moreover, fertile and pervious soils are essential for primary production and the water cycle to occur. Increasing vegetation and living soils enhance carbon storage. When pollinators and other species are back to the city, they help reducing pathogens and buffer invasive species. Cities go towards a multifunctional green infrastructure that could replace the “grey infrastructure” more expensive. This approach is also promoted by the future European Union Green Infrastructure Strategy.

However, bringing nature back into the urban environment raises many technical, ethical and reglementary questions:

Which nature are we talking about?

For scientists, the issue of coherence needs to be discussed. Is it just a matter of quantity or quality is needed too?

What are the different expectations between citizens and decisions makers?

Can we still make coherent scientific decision in a complex urban context?

Natureparif 5th annual conference brings ecology into the urban environment, in partnership with the Society for Urban Ecology and the Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN). This event is designed to share knowledge and discuss the success or failure of urban ecology approaches in cities.

2nd SURE Summer School 2013 in Shanghai (27th October - 2nd November 2013)

date: 27th October – 2nd November 2013
location: East China Normal University (ECNU), Shanghai, China


Austria: University Salzburg, Department of Geography und Geology, Research Group Urban and Landscape Ecology, contact: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Jürgen Breuste, Hellbrunnerstr. 34, 5020 Salzburg, Austria, Phone: +43 (0)662 8044-5241, MSc Martina Artmann, Phone: +43 (0)662 8044-5216, Fax: +43 (0)662 8044-525

China: East China Normal University Shanghai, School of Ressources & Environmental Science, Contact: Dr. Junxiang Li, 500 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai, 200241,China, Phone: +86-21-5434 1161; Fax.:+86-21-6223 7885



The management of urban ecosystems is, and will continue to be, a key challenge for Chinese cities. The conflicts of urban development have intensified due to lack of knowledge and management capacity and because of too little understanding of the complex integration of the natural, built and socio-economic systems into general urban development. The existing fragmented knowledge of the relationships between the mega-urban development, its effects like climate changes, and ecosystem services has been insufficient for policy makers and scientific community. Particularly, there isn’t any sort of ‘digest’ of valuation so that hidden values of urban green (particularly in relation to climate regulation) as ecosystem service are properly accounted in urban planning. It had been difficult to realistically instigate long-term plans towards the inclusion of the process of ecosystem services as a meaningful component of sustainable urban development. A great support will be given by the URBES project (“Urban Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Project”), where the participation of tutors and young researchers is expected.


2nd International Summer School 2013

Two years after the successful 1st SURE Summer School 2011 in Shanghai “Megacity Shanghai – Development of Sustainable Urban Environment”, where 22 international students (PhD Master level) and eight tutors from Austria, Germany, China, Sweden, Brazil and Poland participated, there will be a follow-up with the 2nd SURE Summer School in 2013, integrating new aspects of urban development, worldwide discussed – the urban ecosystem service approaches. Again international students and tutors are invited to join the Summer School.



The overall objectives are to:

develop an understanding of the city as complex urban ecosystem, ecosystem services the urban landscapes provides, and exchange according to the experiences from China and European perspective;

exchange innovative and integrated approaches for urban ecosystem services and management applicable to practical needs – both of relevance to China and Europe.


Planned activities and structure


Every day we will have a “module” as subject. The summer school will include lectures, interactive exercises and field work within different modules lead by tutors. To give the students the chance to meet all tutors regularly there will be “students meet tutors” sessions after in the afternoon after the lectures.


Prof. Dr. Jürgen Breuste (Department of Geography, Paris-Lodron University Salzburg, Austria)

Dr. Junxiang Li (Department of Environmental Science, East China Normal University Shanghai, China)

Prof. Dr. Burghard Meyer (Department of Geography, University Leipzig, Germany)

Prof. Dr. Maros Finka (SPECTRA Centre of Excellence of the EU and Institute of Management, Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, Slovak Republic)

Prof. Dr. Harald Zepp (Faculty of Geosciences, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany)

Ass. Prof. Dr. Salman Qureshi (Department of Geography, Humboldt-University Berlin, Germany)

Prof. Dr. Maria Kozova (Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University Bratislava, Slovakia)

Ass. Prof. Dr. Xie Miaomiao (School of Land Science and Technology, China University of Geosciences Beijing, China)

Prof. Dr. Andrzej Mizgajski (Adam Mickiewicz University Poznań, Poland)

MSc. Martina Artmann (Department of Geography, Paris-Lodron University Salzburg, Austria)

SURE World Conference in Berlin, Germany (25 - 27 July 2013)

Date: July 25 to 27, 2013

Venue: Department of Geography, Humboldt University Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin

Organizers: SURE

Local organizer: Prof. Dagmar Haase, Department of Geography, Humboldt University Berlin

Conference Webpage:

Awards: Springer and the Journal Urban Ecosystems will support the conference with an award for the best student presentation(s).


Protocol of the SURE General Assembly in Berlin

Proposed theme:

Progress in urban ecology and ecological challenges in urban development


Why holding a SURE Congress? Urban ecology has matured over the past decades and has become an organized and modern discipline. Enough research and application in urban ecology is occurring to justify an international congress that is independent of other conferences. In the past 10 years, smaller symposia and conferences have been held at the World Congress of Landscape Ecology in 2007 and 2011, etc as well as at conferences of the National IALE Chapters.

Why having the Congress in Berlin? Berlin is the city where urban ecology emerged especially under the inspiration and direction of Hubert Sukopp. To understand how urban ecology will advance, the Congress will be held in the place where urban ecology emerged as a discipline. Moreover, today – more than 20 years after the political transition in Germany, Berlin offers a lot to be seen and to be studied, from project to city level. This is an invitation to study processes and patterns of both urban development and urban ecology at “living places” during field trips. The local host, the Institute of Geography of the Humboldt University of Berlin (in personae Wilfried Endlicher), was the coordinator of a nearly 10-year graduate school about “Urban Ecology”.



Jürgen Breuste (SURE President)

Dagmar Haase    (Co-Chair)

Honorary President:

Herbert Sukopp (TU Berlin, Germany)


Salman Qureshi (Humboldt University Berlin, Germany)

Local organizing Committee:    

Dagmar Haase (Humboldt University Berlin, Germany)

Stephan Pauleit (Technical University of Munich, Germany)

Nadja Kabisch (Humboldt University Berlin, Germany)

Neele Larondelle (Humboldt University Berlin, Germany)

Wilfried Endlicher (Humboldt University Berlin, Germany)

Scientific Committee:

Jürgen Breuste (University Salzburg, Austria)

Dagmar Haase (Humboldt University Berlin, Germany)

Stephan Pauleit (Technical University of Munich, Germany)

Jari Niemelä (University of Helsinki, Finland)

Sarel Cilliers (North-West University, South Africa)

Junxiang Li (East China Normal University, China)

Glenn R. Guntenspergen (US Geological Survey, USA)

Clas Florgard (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden)

Salman Qureshi (Humboldt University Berlin, Germany)

Maria Ignatieva (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden)

Laura Musacchio (University of Minnesota, USA)

Richard Coles (Birmingham City University)

Robert F. Young (University of Oregon, USA)



Here are some ideas of possible symposia topics and possible organizers. Please feel invited to apply for one of the listed topics as symposium. Any other suggestions are welcome!

1.    The theory of urban ecology
2.    The challenges of urban development for urban ecology and its application to build ecocities
3.    Multifunctional green infrastructures
4.    Socio-ecological complexity of urban areas Ecosystem services Urban sustainability and urban resilience Modelling of urban ecosystems – new approaches
5.    Urban biodiversity and municipal governance
6.    Young Researchers/Student Symposium: Future of urban ecology

Welcome note:

Herbert Sukopp – History of urban ecology (requested)

Address by SURE President/Conference Chair:

Jürgen Breuste – Urban development and urban ecology in 2020

Address by Conference Co-chair:

Dagmar Haase – Modelling of urban ecosystem services in cities

Keynote speakers: 

Some leading urban ecologists of the world would be invited to deliver the keynote speeches.


Accommodation facilities near the conference venue will be listed soon with special conditions for conference participants.


Important publishers will be invited.

Conference proceedings:

All presenters should submit short papers (about 3-5 pages) that could be extended and submitted for special journal issues.

Journal special issues:  

Organizing committee is in discussion with several leading journals to publish special issues out of the conference.

Student awards:

Best paper by doctorate students, Best poster by doctorate students, Best paper/poster masters students.
Winners will be given registration fee waiver, a certificate and 2 years free membership of SURE.


Several excursions to sites in Berlin important for urban ecology and its application in planning and design will be offered.

7th ICON-LA Conference in St. Petersburg, Russia (5 - 7 June 2013)

Date: 5 – 7 June 2013

Venue: St. Petersburg, Russia

Organizers: Administration of St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg Forest Technical University – Faculty of Landscape Architecture, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Co-organizers: SURE – Prof. Jürgen Breuste (University Salzburg, Austria)

Organising Comittee: Larisa Kanunikova (Administration of St. Petersburg); Rector Andrey Selikhovkin, Irina Melnichuk, Victor Smertin and Kirill Pimenov (St. Petersburg Forest Technical University – Faculty of Landscape Architecture); Tuula Eriksson, Maria Ignatieva and Per Berg (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences)

Contact to the organizers: Institutski Pereulok, 5 FTA; 194021, St.-Petersburg, Russia; tel/fax +7-812-670-93-88; (for common questions and abstract hand-in), (for questions about Russian visa and accomodation)

Conference Webpage: 




Water Landscapes and urbanization: design, ecology and management

The main objective of this international scientific conference is to raise the attention and awareness among scientists, urban planners, hydrologists, ecologists, professional landscape architects, city administrations and other appropriate stakeholders, about water landscapes in urban environments. The focus will be on the understanding of modern and heritage water landscapes, evaluation of its ecological and cultural values, visions of blue infrastructures and mitigation of consequences of globalisation and climate change. St. Petersburg is the truly city of water landscapes with Neva River, numerous tributaries, canals, streams, fountains and wetlands. St. Petersburg history and culture is based around the water theme. Floods were a recurring feature of this city for more than three hundred years. The dam construction attracted attention of the world’s scientists and engineers in this field. The “Venice of the North” is invited as participants to share their vision on future of water landscapes.


There will be 5 subthemes during the conference:

1.Water landscapes and mitigation of global/climate change;

2.Water Heritage Landscapes (water landscapes in history, literature and art)

3.Water landscapes as a part of Green‐Blue infrastructures;

4.Ecology of Water landscapes;

5.Design and Management of water landscapes


Preliminary Programme (final program will be set in February 2013)

3-4 June Pre‐conference tour in St. Petersburg (optional)

5 June Conference Day in St. Petersburg

6 June Conference Day in St. Petersburg

7 June Technical excursion on boat in St. Petersburg

8 June Post conference tour (optional)


Conference fee: 250 Euro


Call for Abstracts

Participants are invited to submit abstracts related to themes as announced above.


Preparation of Abstracts

Abstracts are required for all presentations, including posters.

The abstract should comprise three parts (Title, Authors (including name of organisation, mailing address and email), and Abstract), maximum 500 words (Times New Roman, 12 pt and left adjusted).

The due date for abstracts is 1 March 2013.

Conference proceedings based on abstracts will go through a review process and will be published in English. Selected full papers are invited for publication post-conference in peer-review journals.


Excursions and cultural programme:

Visits to historical and modern public/residential parks and water landscapes structure is part of the technical tours of the conference in St Petersburg. Optional pre-conference St. Petersburg sightseeing (e.g. the Hermitage and Russian Museum).

SURE was co-organizer of the Conference Biodiversity & urban policies / Paris, France (4th April 2013)

SURE Workshop in Bochum, Germany (31 August - 1 September 2012)

Date: August 31 – September 1, 2012

Location: Geographical Institute, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany

Organizers: TuL (Transformation of Urban Landscapes) – Geographical Institute at the Ruhr-University Bochum; SURE Society of Urban ecology; IALE Europe and IALE-D (Germany)


On your way from the 32rnd International Geographical Congress Cologne 2012 join us to consider and discuss what science can contribute to develop and ensure sustainable, healthy, well functioning and liveable cities.

At present, more than half of the world population is living in cities – with a remarkably rising tendency. Increasing urbanisation, demographic change, climate change and, in many places, economic restructuring are posing new challenges to cities all over the world.

Today, sustainable urban development, which in growing cities has to follow other guidelines than in shrinking ones, means to plan for and adapt to these present and future changes. Intelligent, integrative planning concepts which meet the requirements of these different city types are needed.

The workshop focuses on the adaptation strategies and concepts needed by growing and shrinking cities worldwide to address the above mentioned challenges. The workshop brings together scientists, especially young upcoming scientists, practitioners and policy makers to discuss challenges and possible solutions. It will explore practical adaptation approaches and policies. The moderated sessions will each be opened by a key note speaker.

Hosted and convened by the research group Transformation of urban Landscapes (TuL) of the Geographical Institute of the University of Bochum, the workshop will take place in cooperation with SURE (Society of Urban Ecology), IALE Europe and IALE Germany (International Association of Landscape Ecology).

The workshop program includes plenary lectures and panels, poster sessions and an excursion.

Workshop registration opened November 1, 2011 with deadline for abstracts from young scientists 1st March 2012.

Workshop themes and key topics for presentations include:

Ecosystem Services

Present and future urban ecosystem based changes and adaptations: measuring, evaluating and modelling

Climate change and adaptation of cities structure and urban nature

Management of sustainable urban environment

Conservation and developing strategies of urban biodiversity within landscape planning

The workshop will be held on the University of Bochum with accommodation available in local hotels. Bochum is easy to get to from Cologne or other cities in Germany with ICE-train. Registration will include admission to workshop, welcome reception and materials.

The workshop will be held at the University of Bochum (IBZ, Internationales Begegnungszentrum – Hof Beckmann) with accommodation available in local hotels. Bochum is easily accessible by public transportation from Cologne and other major German cities with ICE-train. Registration will include admission to the workshop, welcome reception and materials.

SURE Symposium at the IALE World Congress in Peking, China (18 - 23 August 2011)

Date: 18th to 23th of August 2011
Location: Peking, China
Organizers: Prof. Jürgen Breuste (University of Salzburg, Austria), Prof. Clar Florgård (Schwedish University for Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Schweden), Dr. Junxiang Li (East China Normal University, Shanghai, China), Dr. Chunyang He (Beijing Normal University, China)

With 50 presentations the SURE symposium was the biggest symposium at the 8th world congress of the International Association of Landscape Ecology (IALE) in Beijing, China. The lectures covered the themes sustainble environment management in cities, urban nature, urban ecosystem services and modeling sustainable urban environment.

Description and justification of the symposium

The proposed symposium fited in the IALE 2011 Beijing World Conference’s main topic of sustainable environment and culture approaches within landscape ecology. Urban landscapes are supposed to be actually and in the future focal points of landscape transformation. More than 50% of the world population lives in cities and this number will increase.

Urban landscapes undergo dramatic changes from which the majority of the world’s population will be affected. The following 10 challenges are seen as the most important:

To develop models for sustainable cities

Management of urban growth and urban structural changes

Climate change

Increasing risks by natural processes

Planning for urban sustainable environment

To secure and improve urban biodiversity and urban nature

To stabilize and develop urban ecosystem services

Demographic and social changes

Weakening of administrative influences and drastic shortages in public finances

Interactions of urban environment and urban culture (experiences, conflicts and management)

For each of these challenges valuable contribution from urban ecology the state of the art, case studies and methodological approaches in the respective field were presented. Empirical evidence, research but also practice experiences with these subjects of different countries worldwide were presented, were welcome and were discussed. The discussion targeted to identify the ecosystem-related impacts of these challenges, discussed how to define targets for future sustainable development/improvement of urban ecosystems’ functionality and quality of life as well as to evaluate the methods, steering instruments and best practice examples how to deal with these challenges.

The following subjects were identified as sub-topics of the symposium in research, planning and management aspects:

Climate change and sustainable urban environment

Modeling of sustainable urban environment

Urban ecosystem services – processes, pattern and planning

Urban Biodiversity and urban nature

Sustainable urban environment in different urban cultures

Speakers (Names, affiliations, titles)

Jürgen Breuste, University Salzburg, Austria:  Practicing urban ecology – management of urban ecosystems to improve ecosystem services

Sarel Cilliers, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa: Social and cultural challenges in conserving urban biodiversity in developing countries

Ana Faggi, J. Breuste, Universidad de Flores, Argentina; University Salzburg, Austria:Urban nature reserves and urban parks – utilization and development of urban nature in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Clas Florgard, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden: Urban planning for green infrastructure and biodiversity – challenges and crucial factors

Dagmar Haase, Humboldt-University Berlin, Germany: Modeling green-blue ecosystem service potentials in growing and shrinking cities

Cecilia Herzog, Inverde and Amigos do Parque Nacional da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Urban Green Infrastructure: ecosystems services to build resilience to face climate change challenges

Maria Ignateva, Lincoln University, Canterbury, New Zealand: Sustainable urban environment and landscape architecture in the era of globalization

Maria Kozova, Maros Finka, Komensky University, Bratislava, Slovakia, Technical University, Bratislava, Slovakia: Integrative urban planning for sustainable environmentally oriented society (practical experience and case studies

Junxiang Li, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China:Impacts of landscape structure on urban surface heat island in Shanghai

Sarah Lindley, Stephan Pauleit, University of Manchester, UK, Technical University Munich, Germany: Adaptation of African cities to climate change: the role of the green infrastructure

Diane Menzies, Ken Fletcher, Environment Court of New Zealand, Christchurch, New Zealand: The values of Wetlands in Cities

Burghard Meyer, Technische Universität Dortmund, Germany:Sustainability Impact Assessment – Methods development for the localization of policy impacts

Andrzej Mizgajski, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland: Development of ecosystem services through management of urban structural changes

Ulla Mörtberg, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden: Urban biodiversity and sustainable urban development – analyzing interacting system

Laura Musacchio, University of Minnesota, U.S.A.: Volunteering to restore nature: Why do feel better after working to save nature?

Stephan Pauleit, Youjoun He, Jianjun Yang, Jingjing Ni, Irene Burkhardt, Martin Spiekermann, and Fei Yang,Technical University Munich, Germany; Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing, China; Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China; Office Burkhardt Landscape architects, Munich, Germany: Riding the tiger: Strategies for protection and restoration of ecosystem services in peri-urban areas of rapidly developing cities of China. The case of Hangzhou

Salman Qureshi, University of Karachi, Pakistan: Multi-functionality of landscapes derives the structural matrix of urban mosaic: An anthropocentric approach to ecological assessment

Martin Sauerwein, Doris Damyanovic, University Hildesheim, Germany; University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria:Sustainable soil use and sustainable soil management in urban planning

Marie du Toit, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa; Challenges and opportunities of a spatial integration of environmental and social aspects in urban areas: A South African case study 

Annette Voigt, University Salzburg, Austria: Nature conservation in urban areas in Central Europe

Robbert Snep, University Wageningen, The Netherlands: Integrating wildlife opportunities in the urban planning and development process – bridging the worlds of cities and conservation

SURE Summer School 2011 in Shanghai (14th to 16th of August 2011)

SURE Summer School 2011 in Shanghai

date: 14th to 16th of August 2011
location: East China Normal University (ECNU), Shanghai, China
organisators: Prof. Jürgen Breuste and MSc M. Artmann (Salzburg, Austria), Dr. Junxiang Li (ECNU Shanghai, China)


The course was organised by Prof. Breuste, MSc. M. Artmann (University Salzburg) and Dr. Li (East China Normal University  Shanghai) in the course of the 8th IALE world congress. 22 international students (PhD and Master level) and eight tutors from Austria, Germany, China, Sweden, Brazil and Poland discussed the following topics:

– Megacities as urban ecosystems

– Urban environmental problems and environmental policy

– Sustainable development and sustainable city

– Ecosystem services

– Urban green


Presentations of the tutors:

Jürgen Breuste (University Salzburg, Österreich): Urban Green and Urban Ecosystem services.

Cecilia P. Herzog (Research Institute Green Infrastructure and Urban Ecology, University Rio de Janeiro, Brazil): Green Infrastructure for Resilient and Sustainable Cities.

Clas Florgard (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Uppsala, Sweden): Development of Sustainable Cities. Adapt to the situation, take the opportunity

Per G. Berg, Maria Ignatieva (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Uppsala, Sweden): Hågaby Resilient Cityland Community. A Modern Model of a Sustainable Human Habitat.

Maria Ignatieva (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Uppsala, Sweden), Irina Melnichuk, Larisa Kanunnikova: Urban Green. St. Petersburg Green Infrastructure: search for sustainable solutions.

Junxiang Li (ECNU, China): Megacity as Urban Ecosystem: Key Research Questions.

Andrzej Mizgajski (University Poznan, Poland): Urban environmental problems and environmental policy.

Stephan Pauleit (Technical University Munich, Germany): Compact – urban – green: Greenstructure strategies for the Munich city region



Jacek Lukasz Zatonski, Poznan/Poland

Fernando Castillo Cabrerer, Guatemala

Martina Artmann, Salzburg/Austria

Mivchal Wójcicki, Poznan/Poland

Xiaoma Li, Beijing/China

Chen Alian, Beijing/China

Cheng Li, Shanghai/China

Luiz Alberto Domeignoz Horta, Bayreuth/Germany

Ayyoob Sharifi, Japan

Li Jue, China

Yixin Cheng (as an auditor)

Chao Xu, China

Ton Cai, China

Feng Lan, China

Shi Yalou, China

Li Gang, China

Yiwen Hu, China

Shunli Zhou, China

Yuchu Xie, China

Jianhui Li, China

Hanwen Hu, China

Ye Zhang, China (as an auditor)


Course description:

There is world wide a need for:

fostering and enhancing the understanding of cities as ecosystems

a further in-depth, multidisciplinary research of this subject

a research on the particular dynamic urbanisation and transformation process in Asia, e.g. China

support of the application of know-how in practice

an enhanced education on urban ecosystem management

an intense networking across disciplines, across cultures and beyond professional boundaries

Main subjects of the course were:

Understanding and application of the concept of urban ecosystems and urban sustainability;

Tools, instruments, approaches and practices of urban ecosystem management.

Education aims:

Cities as ecosystems;

Urban ecological systems with an scientific and management approach;

Application of practice-oriented, innovative methodologies and instruments.


Contemporary urban development – comparisons word wide (e. g. Europe and Asia)

Cities as ecosystems (introduction to elements and processes)

Ecosystem dynamics, modelling, impacts and disturbances (focus on human impact and interaction of social, economic, environmental factors in general, including details on problems / disturbances and pollution issues)

Urban green and nature as focal element of urban ecosystems

Planning, policy making and management practices


excursion Shanghai:

The new knowledge was deepened and applied in two excursions on “Urban green” and “Urban development in Shanghai”. Dr. Li and Prof. Breuste showed examples of actual urban development in Shanghai and discussed the related sustainability aspects. This excursion included: Zhongshan Park, Yan’an Green, People’s Park, The (new) Bund, Suzhou Creek development, Duolun Road Area (Hongkou), Pudong, Century Park, as well as World Expo site.