Obituary for Jari Kalevi Niemelä
The Society for Urban Ecology (SURE) mourns the loss of Prof. Jari Kalevi Niemelä who recently passed away in Helsinki, Finland.
Jari was an outstanding ecologist specializing in urban ecology with an international reputation in the field. He is the author of numerous urban ecological essays in international journals and urban ecological textbooks, e.g.
NIEMELÄ, J., J. BREUSTE, T. ELMQVIST, G. GUNTENSPERGEN, P. JAMES, N. MCINTYRE (eds.) (2011): Urban Ecology, Patterns, Processes, and Applications. Oxford University Press, Oxford
Since 2000 Jari worked as Professor of urban ecology in the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences of University of Helsinki, Finland. In 2018 he was appointed as rector of the University of Helsinki. Since 2010 he has trained students in urban ecology at the University of Helsinki in a variety of courses.
Jari was a co-initiator of the founding of the international Society for Urban Ecology (SURE) in Salzburg, Austria in 2009. He supported and promoted SURE in many ways through his profound knowledge and diverse activities. The Executive Committee of the Society for Urban Ecology (SURE) has therefore decided to posthumously award Prof. Jari Niemelä honorary membership.
We will miss Jari, his advice and support and remember him with gratitude.
SURE president for SURE Executive Committee
Jari Kalevi Niemelä
Founding of the Iran Research Centre for Urban Ecology
The SURE Iran chapter is founding the Iran Research Centre for Urban Ecology for advancing the goals of the Society for Urban Ecology (SURE).
The overarching targets of the Iran Research Centre are:
- International, national, and regional cooperation and networking between Iran and the SURE
- Cooperation with public and private organizations and institutions
- Holding training courses, workshops, conferences, symposiums, etc.
- Educational and scientific support of Iranian students, experts and institutions
Successful publication – Man-made natural disaster of lake Urmia (Iran)
Publication in Frontiers in Environmental Sciences based on SURE cooperation (Akbar Rahimi, Iran, and Jürgen Breuste, Austria) on Lake Urmia in Iran gets great public and political interest in Iran and among scientists worldwide:
Rahimi, A, J. Breuste (2021): Why Urmia Lake is Drying up? Prognostic Modeling with Land Use Data and Artificial Neural Network. Frontiers in Environmental Science, Volume 9 | Article 603916, 11 pages, doi: 10.3389/fenvs.2021.603916
Lake Urmia (LU) is considered the largest salt water lake in Iran. It suffers, however, from severe restrictions on water resources and is increasingly becoming a salt lake. The eventual drought of the LU would be the cause of ecological, health, social and economic problems in its agricultural and urban surroundings. Land-use change and the increase of salty areas were evaluated in this work using satellite imagery. We evaluated the present situation and changes in the lake area in the past and until 2025. Results indicate that from 1987 to 2000, the process of change was slow and the reduction in the water area was limited to less than 2% of the lake surface. Contrastingly, from 2000 to 2010, the shrinking process was faster and more than 28% of the lake water area disappeared. The intensity of shrinking from 2010 to 2014 is very severe. Using the Land Transformation Model, the continuation of the changes was modeled until 2025. The results of the modeling indicate the conversion of the water lake into a salt lake in this period. In the northern part, the shallow waters occupy 0.7% of the total lake area. Climate change was not a significant factor for the drying up of the lake, but human factors such as building dams to store water for irrigation, and increasing groundwater use by established deeper wells for agricultural irrigation. With changes in the management of the water courses leading to the lake and the transfer of new water resources to the lake between 2014 and 2016, the area of the lake doubled. It was evident that by proper planning and management of water resources, the lake’s restoration can be achieved.
Lake Urmia (Photos: J. Breuste, 2018)
Upcoming event: 8th Summer School of SURE China Chapter
SURE is very happy to invite you to the upcoming 8th Summer School of SURE China Chapter.
- Theme: Urban Biodiversity and Conservation: Global Perspectives and Comparisons
- Time: August 8-12, 2022
- Place: Minhang Campus, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China
- Way to participate: Hybrid of online and in-person
- Working language: English and/or Chinese
- Junxaing Li, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China
- Juergen Breuste, University of Salzburg, Austria
- Amy Hahs, University of Melbourne, Australia
Registration and Deadline:
- The deadline to register is 25th July, 2022.
- Registration person: Dr. Caiyan WU – Email.
You can find the programme of the Summer School here.
IOER-Forum and SURE EC meeting: “Urban transformation – SURE meets SURE-institutional members”
Under the organisation of Dr. Martina Artmann (SURE-Secretary General), the SURE Executive Committee visited between 17th – 18th May 2022 the SURE institutional member Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER) in Dresden, Germany. Under the IOER´s research focus on sustainable spatial socio-ecological transformations, the SURE board members discussed challenges and chances for urban transformations.
During the two-day event, Prof. Jürgen Breuste (SURE-President) led an excursion around the Dresden urban agglomerations visiting historical sites, urban protection areas and the city´s blue infrastructure. Another excursion was offered by Dr. Ralf-Uwe Syrbe and Dr. Henriette John (IOER) exploring urban ecosystem services provided in the city of Dresden. In the course of the IOER-Forum, Prof. Jürgen Breuste gave a lecture about “Dare Urban Wilderness – Preserve, Use and Manage!”. The IOER co-presentation on “Wilderness on urban wastelands – an annoyance or a paradise for biodiversity?” was given by Dr. Juliane Mathey. The lecture can be found online.
An overall aim of this event was the annual SURE board meeting reflecting on past and future activities as well as strategic orientation of the society. During the meeting, all agreed that after the restrictions due to the COVID-19-pandemic, a major aim of SURE will be to foster again SURE summer schools to provide young researchers the chance to network and deepen their knowledge and international experiences in the field of urban ecology. Dates about upcoming summer schools can be found at the SURE webpage.
The SURE board with IOER director Prof. Marc Wolfram (From left to right: I. Zwierzchowska, C. Ioja, M. Artmann, M. Wolfram, J. Breuste, C. Coskun Hepcan, A. Mizgajski, M. Hayir Kanat)
SURE at the Dresden Nexus Conference
From 23-25 May 2022, the Dresden Nexus Conference (DNC 2022) took part as an online conference focusing on “Biodiversity – Stewardship for vital resources”. Dr. Alina Hossu (SURE Chapter South-East Europe) and Dr. Martina Artmann (SURE-Secretary General) hosted a session on “Relational Values and Planning of Urban Nature and Biodiversity” with speakers from Romania, Turkey, and Japan. Main conclusions from the session are:
- Strengthening of human-nature connection and avoiding the loss of nature experience in cities is crucial due to the benefits not only for nature (by conserving it), but also for humans due to the favorable health and emotional outcomes.
- The choice of methods for values assessment is challenging. Qualitative data from surveys is complemented by quantitative approaches to have a deeper understanding on factors affecting human-nature connections. Therefore, approaches for knowledge co-creation and co-productive are needed to enable the identification of values and the “real” interactions people have with the environment.
- A need that has been pointed out is the integration of local communities (including vulnerable groups) and their values about their relationship with nature into planning, especially to strengthen urban sustainability.
New event: Conference of URBIO-International Network “Integrating Biodiversity in Urban Planning and Design Processes”
The conference of URBIO-International Network “Integrating Biodiversity in Urban Planning and Design Processes” will take place from 28 to 30 November 2022. It will be hosted by Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ in Leipzig (Germany) in close cooperation with Humboldt University of Berlin, the University of Western Australia and the University of Missouri (Hybrid format: face-to-face and online). … READ MORE
Symposium Urban Ecosystem Management held by SURE Iran on 22 February 2022 at Tabriz University
Under the leadership of Prof. Akbar Rahimi, SURE Iran Chapter held a one-day symposium on Urban Ecosystem Management at Tabriz University, Iran, on 22 February.
More than 45 students of different departments and faculties participated and actively discussed the subjects presented by Prof. Cristian Ioja, University of Bucharest, Romania (SURE treasurer), and Prof. Jürgen Breuste, University of Salzburg, Austria (SURE president). The symposium took place in the Shahid Bakeri Hall of Tabriz University and included a site visit to El Goli Park, the largest inner-city green space in city of Tabriz.
The presented and discussed subjects were: urban wildlife, management of biodiversity, and urban tree and green space management. The symposium is already the fourth that is organized since 2019 by SURE Iran at Tabriz University on the subject of urban ecosystem management. These symposia are of constant and rising interest among students and practitioners. Supported by an ERASMUS + cooperation, there is an intensive exchange of students from Tabriz University with University of Bucharest, Romania, and University of Salzburg, Austria.
Field discussion with Prof. Cristian Ioja and Prof. Akbar Rahimi
Three new SURE honorary members
SURE is very pleased to award Prof. Andrzej Mizgajski and Prof. Ingo Kowarik an honorary membership in the Society for Urban Ecology (SURE), and to issue an honorary certificate to Katarzyna Fagiewicz for the organisation of the 3rd SURE World Congress in Poznan, Poland. To all of them, thanks a lot!
Statement of the SURE President
Global ecological challenges on the way to Green Cities
New books are available, good ideas need to be implemented!
Cities are the most attractive place to live for people worldwide. They offer the hope of a better life than in the countryside and what is often lacking or less available there: jobs with a secure income, health care, education, entertainment and social advancement. For many, however, this remains just an unrealized hope, which does not diminish the attractiveness of cities. … READ MORE
Online SURE lecture by SURE President
Prof. Breuste, SURE president, gave on 7 December 2021 in the course Sustainable Tourism Development of Human and Social Development Program of Graduate School of Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand an online SURE lecture, invited by Assoc.Prof.Dr. Narumon Arunotai, Assoc.Prof.Dr. Suwattana, on Urban Protected Areas and Recreation – Challenges and European perspectives as activity of the SURE International Center Urban Ecology. More than twenty students joint the lecture, followed by a vital discussion on the subject.
The course targets on Domestic and regional tourism development, relationship between tourism and development policies and practices implemented by the government, the local and the private sector; impact of tourism on communities and society; principles and forms of sustainable tourism; study of tourism resources in terms of environment, natural resources, and social and cultural resources and roles of different sectors in sustainable tourism development.
Activity of the SURE International Center Urban Ecoloy in Beijing, China
Prof. Breuste, SURE president, gave on 16 November 2021 in the College of Architecture and Urban Planning of Beijing University of Technology, Beijing, China an online SURE lecture, invited by Prof. Fei Xue, on
Urban Biodiversity – What it is and how we can target it in design and planning
as activity of the SURE International Center Urban Ecology. More than hundred students joint the lecture, followed by a vital discussion on the subject.
The lecture was following up the first part of UN Conference on Biodiversity COP 15 in October in Kunming, China. It was showed that the transformation in society’s relationship with biodiversity cannot exclude urban areas as main living sphere of human on earth and cannot wait until 2050 to reach a living in harmony with nature. Now it is time to develop our cities by improvement of urban biodiversity in contact to urban dwellers.
Urban biodiversity and its management – SURE Iran symposium
SURE Chapter Iran organized under the leadership of Prof. Akbar Rahimi, University Tabriz, on Tuesday 19th October 2021 in Tabriz, 2021 a national symposium with international guests.
Statement of SURE President on UN Biodiversity Conference (CBD COP 15) in October 2021 in Kunming (China)
More efforts of urban biodiversity are urgently needed – SURE asks to present good examples worldwide
The UN Biodiversity Conference (CBD COP 15) in October 2021 in Kunming (China) stated despite on-going efforts, biodiversity is deteriorating worldwide and this decline is projected to worsen with business-as- usual scenarios. A new set of goals for nature over the next decade through the Convention on Biological Diversity post 2020 framework process will be necessary. This needs ambitious plans to implement broad-based actions to bring about a transformation in society’s relationship with biodiversity and to ensure that, by 2050, the shared vision of living in harmony with nature. This is urgently necessary in the humans living sphere – the cities. We need a New Deal for nature in cities – urban biodiversity.
Society for Urban Ecology supported FIMA 2021
FIMA 2021 closed successfully and will continue to promote the country’s sustainability.
The academic agenda was developed and supervised by Dr. Henry Garay Sarasty, CAEM, Bogotá, Colombia, SURE Session leader Latin America.
SURE president Prof. Dr. Jürgen Breuste and representatives from SURE Session Central Europe (Dr. Luis Inostroza) and SURE Session South East Europe (Prof. Dr. Cristian Ioja, head of session) participated with presentations and in panel discussion. SURE contributed to the success of the event.
The 3rd SURE World Conference a Great Success
Between 7 and 9 July 2021, the 3rd SURE World Conference under the topic “Cities as Socio-Ecological Systems” took place in Poznan, Poland. Organized as a hybrid event due to the current pandemic restrictions, over 300 participants online and onsite from 36 countries and 6 continents participated at the conference. …READ MORE
SURE General Assembly and Election of the SURE Executive Committee took place during the 3rd SURE World Congress
The SURE General Assembly elected a new SURE Executive Committee on 9th of July 2021 during the 3rd SURE World Congress in Poznan, Poland. The General Assembly unanimously accepted the list of the Executive Committee where Jürgen Breuste, Austria, was elected as President, Martina Artmann, Germany, as Secretary General and Cristian Ioja, Romania, as Treasurer. Salman Qureshi, Germany, Pakistan, Junxiang Li, China, and Henry Garay-Sarasti, Colombia, were elected as Supplementary Executive Committee members.
The SURE Executive Committee has appointed the new Advisory Board for the period 2021 – 2025:
– Chapter Central Europe: Andrzej Mizgajski and Mrs. Iwona Zwierzchowska
– Chapter South-East Europe: Mihai Razvan Nita and Mrs. Constantina Alina Hossu
– Chapter Latin America: Mrs. Ana Faggi and Mrs. Cecilia Herzog
– Chapter Iran: Akbar Rahimi
– Chapter China: Zhiyun Ouyang, Mrs. Prof. Shuang
– New conference organizers: Cigdem Hepcan and Meryem Hayir Kanat
– Further members: Sarel Cilliers, South Africa; Charles Nilon, USA; Janmaimool Piyapong, Thailand; Chris Ives, UK; Lalitha Dissanayake , Sri Lanka; Prakash Tiwari, India; Maria Ignatieva, Australia
The proposal for next SURE Congress 2025 in Istanbul/Izmir, Turkey organized by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Cigdem COSKUN HEPCAN and Prof. Dr. Meryem HAIR KANAT was approved by the General Assembly as well.
During the SURE General Assembly, SURE honorary memberships have been awarded to Prof. Ingo Kowarik and Prof. Andrzej Mizgajski. Katarzyna Fagiewicz received a SURE award of honor for her great support of the 3rd SURE World Congress.
The SURE Executive Committee would like to express their sincere gratitude to all SURE members for their trust and support to lead the SURE for the next election period.
Last but not least, the SURE Executive Committee would like to thank Andrzej Mizgajski and Iwona Zwierzchowska for their great efforts to realize the 3rd SURE World Congress in Poznan, Poland. Despite the constraints due to the current pandemic situation, this event was a great success bringing leading researchers and practitioners, senior and young researchers together to discuss and exchange how to connect cities with nature.
Due to the current pandemic situation, most of the SURE Summer Schools will be postponed. Please follow the SURE webpage for recent announcements:
– The SURE Summer School Shanghai, organized by Junxiang Li together with Amy Haze (University Melbourne) and Jürgen Breuste, is planned to take place in 2021 in a hybrid format, more information will be announced soon.
– The SURE Summer School Bucharest, organized by Cristian Ioja together with Jürgen Breuste, is postponed to 2022.
– The SURE Summer School Berlin, organized by Salman Qureshi, is postponed until further notice.
– The SURE Summer School Tabriz, organized by Akbar Rahimi in cooperation with Jürgen Breuste and Cristian Ioja, is postponed to 2022.
Special Issue of Sustainability now published:
edited by Martina Artmann, Kathrin Specht, Jan Vávra and Marius Rommel,
This Special Issue was initiated in the course of various sessions organized by the guest editors in the course of the ESP Europe conference 2018 in San Sebastian (Spain), the IALE World Congress 2019 in Milan (Italy) and the Dresden Nexus Conference 2020 (Germany). …READ MORE
SURE is participating at the upcoming „The Nature of Cities Festival“.
The Nature of Cities Festival is an online event and takes place between 22-26 February. The festival offers a range of interesting inter- and transdisciplinary plenary talks, seed sessions and digital excursions. You can find the full program here
Please feel also warmly invited to our seed session hosted by SURE members:
Tuesday, Feb 23, 14:45 EST (20:45 pm Berlin time): Revitalizing urban rivers (Spanish & English) (Ana Faggi, Juergen Breuste, Circe Monteiro, Diana Wiesner, Iturriaga Sandra)
Short Presentation of revitalization projects (Bogota-Colombia, Mapocho-Chile,Piracicaba- Brasil and Isar Germany) with following discussion addressing SWOT analysis, what have we learned and the role of the community participation
Wednesday, Feb 24, 10:15 am EST (16:15 pm Berlin time): Soul in the city – connecting our inner and external nature (Martina Artmann, Katharina Artmann)
We´ll explore through a short presentation, meditation and interactive breakout rooms how to overcome the human/nature dichotomy. We will discuss what it means to be a human being in cities and how we can experience urban nature as an sentient, soulful member of our kin.
Register for the event here
TNOC Festival has always supported free entry to promote inclusivity and reduce barriers for anyone who may want to join us. The organisers kindly ask, if you can pay, they hope you will. If you cannot, you are most welcome to join us anyway. In this case send a message to:
SURE Christmas Greetings 2020
Dear colleagues and friends of the SURE,
We hope you are doing well and that the current pandemic is not affecting you too much.
Towards the end of an astonishing year 2020 that has clearly illustrated the value of urban nature such as accessible urban green spaces fostering human resilience in times of stress, we see the crucial role of urban ecology research supporting sustainable development more than ever before.
By the end of this special year, the SURE board would like to thank you for supporting the urban ecology community and our chapters. Unfortunately, also SURE was effected by the pandemic situation and we had to postpone the 3rd SURE World Congress in Poznan (Poland) to 7-9 July 2021. However, we are delighted to announce that the SURE 2020/21 Conference is once again open for registration and abstract submission. …Read more
SURE Executive Committee Meeting 2020
On October 26th 2020, the SURE Executive Committee (EC) met virtually to discuss in particular next SURE events. For 2021 several SURE summer schools are planned:
–SURE Summer School Shanghai, organized by Junxiang Li together with Amy Haze (University Melbourne) and Jürgen Breuste is planned to take place in the second half of August 2021.
–SURE Summer School Bucharest, organized by Cristian Ioja together with Jürgen Breuste is planned to take place in the second half of July 2021.
–SURE Summer School Berlin, organized by Salman Qureshi is planned to take place before the SURE conference in July 2021
More information about the Summer School will be provided by the end of 2020.
The SURE EC hopes that the SURE World Congress and SURE Summer School can take place as planned and to meet old and new SURE members there. The SURE EC will decide in spring, if the SURE activities can take place as attended events or as online formats. For any updates, please visit our SURE webpage.
There you will also soon find new SURE activities connected with SURE teaching and research activities.
Dear SURE Members,
After our previous message about postponing the 3rd SURE World Conference in Poznań, we received some requests to consider again the new date of our event. Organizers of the European Landscape Ecology Congress (IALE 2021) noticed that both big conferences would start on this same day. We discussed this issue with Juergen Breuste, who agreed with our idea to postpone the SURE2020/21 the next two days and to schedule our meeting on 7-9. July 2021.
So we shape an opportunity to participate in both attractive meetings in Poland within one week. We are convinced that these complementary events will provide welcoming forums to present research and to discuss new ideas for both urban- and landscape ecology.
On behalf of Organizing Committee
Andrzej Mizgajski & Katarzyna Fagiewicz
Dear SURE Members,
Dear registered participants of the 3rd SURE World Conference SURE2020,
We have decided to postpone the for July 6-8 2020 planned 3rd SURE World Conference to July 5-7 2021.
We hope you all are well and you will not be affected by the pandemic. We follow carefully the evolution of the epidemic scenarios for Poland, Europe, and the World. The decision about postponing the Conference has matured for several weeks. In agreement with the SURE Executive Board Members, we decided to move the event to July 5-7 2021.
Such a decision has diverse consequences; nevertheless, the conference organizers will do the best to make the 3rd SURE World Conference SURE 2020/21 attractive and affordable for broad circles urban ecologists. The Organizers assure that
- The paid fees will be credited for the conference on the new date;
- The accepted presentations, posters, and abstracts will automatically include into schedule next year, however, any insignificant changes will be possible;
- The conference fee will be kept on the same level as for the conference planed this year.
We assure you, that the 3rd SURE World Conference SURE 2020/21 at the new date will be invariable a welcoming forum for scholars, experts and specialists from business and administration to present their research and discuss new ideas, concepts, and experiences from different points of view.
Jürgen Breuste & Andrzej Mizgajski
SURE president Conference chairman
NEW PUBLICATION AVAILABLE:
First SURE book is published by Springer: J.H. Breuste, M. Artmann, C. Ioja, S. Qureshi (Eds.): Making Green Cities. Concepts, Challenges and Practice.
– Provides an interdisciplinary overview of best practices and challenges
– Includes structured international case studies
– Provides an introduction on culture, preexisting nature conditions, existing
urban surrounding, history, design and planning
1st ed. 2020, X, 215 p. 200 illus. in color.
Ca. 139,99 € | Ca. £119.99 | Ca.
Available from your library or springer.com/shop
Printed eBook for just
€ | $ 24.99