The Society for Urban Ecology (SURE)


The workshop ‘Coastal Resilience & Nature-based Solutions’ & the `1st Climate Fest` were successfully held in Izmir, Turkiye

The International Workshop ‘Coastal Resilience & Nature-based Solutions’ (14th to 16th May 2024) and the 1st Climate Fest (17th May 2024) were successfully held in Izmir, Turkiye, as part of the Resilient Coasts 2 Climate Project.

During the workshop, 15 master students from Romania, Poland and Turkiye learnt and discussed about the coastal floods in Izmir and nature-based adaptation options to address this challenge. Prof. Dr. Jurgen Breuste, Prof. Dr. Cristian Ioja, Prof. Dr. Serif Hepcan, Prof. Dr. Cigdem Coskun Hepcan, Prof. Dr. Martina Artmann (online), Dr. Iwona Zwierzchowska (online), and Karen Naciph Mora (online) attended the workshop with presentations.

The Climate Fest took place in the garden of the Faculty of Agriculture at Ege University. It consisted of several outdoor activities aimed at increasing awareness of the impacts of climate change on ecosystems, cities and health. Knowledge was also disseminated on the Sustainable Development Goals.

SURE president awarded as senior professor at the University of Hildesheim (Germany)

Prof. Dr. Breuste was appointed senior professor at the University of Hildesheim (Germany) on April 1st. This is an extraordinary award and at the same time a new scientific perspective for this university to further promote urban ecology research and training, together with Prof. Dr. Martin Sauerwein (SURE, Institute of Geography). It is also an opportunity to further develop the SURE International Center for Urban Ecology that already exists there.

Prof. Breuste receives the certificate of appointment from the President of the University, Prof. Dr. Kallenrode, in the presence of the dean Prof. Dr. Julia Rick of the Faculty for Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Economics and Computer Science on April 29th at the University of Hildesheim.

South Eastern Europe chapter workshop and EC meeting in Sinaia, 8-11 April 2024

Between April 8 and 11, 2024, the Executive Committee of the Society for Urban Ecology met at the Cumpătu Zoo in Sinaia, Romania.

The meeting of the Executive Committee was preceded by the workshop of the South Eastern Chapter of the Society for Urban Ecology, entitled Challenges in Societal Sharing of Urban Ecology Research, co-organized with the Research Institute of the University of Bucharest, and the Center for Environmental Research and Impact Studies.

The workshop explored the main challenges of transferring urban ecology research to stakeholders, including public institutions, public and private companies, NGOs, and citizens. During the workshop, several works were presented:

  • Professor Jurgen Breuste (SURE President, University of Hildesheim) – The garden city approach in urban planning
  • Professor Junxiang Li (Shanghai Jiao Tong University) – Urban Climate Change and the Associated Human Mortality in Shanghai, China
  • Professor Martina Artmann (SURE General Secretary, Freising University of Applied Sciences) – Opportunities in Society for Urban Ecology for students
  • Niță Mihai, Gavrilidis Athanasios (University of Bucharest) – Nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation in Brasov metropolitan area – Carmine project
  • Cigdem Coskun Hepcan, Aybuke Canguzel, Ahsen Tugce Yuksel, Serif Hepcan (Ege University of Izmir) – Heat Exposure of Vulnerable Population in Izmir
  • Akbar Rahimi (University of Tabriz) – Why is Lake Urmia drying up? Climate change OR Human factors
  • Alexandru-Ionut Petrisor, Antonio Valentin Tache, Oana Catalina Popescu (Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism in Bucharest), Planning for the green belt of Bucharest: challenges and opportunities
  • Florian Bodescu (Multidimension), Marilena Onete (Institute of Biology of the Romanian Academy), Cristian Ioja – Urban ecosystem services in Romanian cities – MAES perspectives
  • Cristian Ioja, Diana Onose, Gabriel Vânău (University of Bucharest) – Benchmarking the citizen sciences initiative related to climate change adaptation – ScienceUs project.

Professor Andrzej Mizgajski (Poland) and Professor Meryem Hayir Kanat (Yildiz Technical University of Istanbul) also participated in the discussions.

It should be noted that different projects were presented during the workshop, such as: Carmine (Horizon EUROPE HORIZON-CL5-2023-D1-01 – Climate-Resilient Development Pathways in Metropolitan Regions of Europe, coordinated by the National Meteorological Administration, within which the University of Bucharest is a partner), ScienceUs (HORIZON-WIDERA-2023-ERA-01-08 – Integration of citizen SCIENCE best practices to UpScale and maximize projects impact related to Green Deal and EU missions, coordinated by Universidad Autonoma de Madrid) and ResilientCoasts2Climate (IPA II – Climate Change Adaptation Grant Program – Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment of Urban Coastal Districts in İzmir, financed by the European Union and Turkey, where Society for Urban Ecology is partner).

Twenty students of the Master’s degree programs of the University of Bucharest, Faculty of Geography, also attended the workshop, where they interacted actively with SURE members.

New event: International Workshop “Coastal resilience & Nature-based Solutions”, from 14 to 17 May in Izmir (Türkiye)

The International workshop for graduate students “Coastal resilience & Nature-based Solutions” will take place in Izmir (Türkiye) between 14th-17th May 2024. The workshop is organized by Ege University and the Society for Urban Ecology (SURE) as part of the Resilient Coasts 2 Climate Project, which is co-funded by the European Union and the Republic of Türkiye.

The workshop will focus on providing a basis on Nature-based Solutions for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in coastal cities. It will also address social challenges related to climate change. It is open for students enrolled in MSc and PhD programs in natural and applied sciences, and social sciences (landscape architecture, geography, ecology, urban design). Free accommodation is offered for the participants.

For more details and to apply please contact Prof. Dr. Cigdem Coskun Hepcan.

The deadline for application is 5th April 2024

The symposium “Urban Nature Design and Management” was successfully organized in Tabriz (Iran) on 2 March 2024

The symposium “URBAN NATURE DESIGN and MANAGEMENT” was successfully organized by the Iran SURE Chapter on 2 March 2024 at the University of Tabriz. It was organized in cooperation with the University of Tabriz, the University of Bucharest and the Slovak Technical University. It brought together more than 20 professors and academic members and 150 students from Iranian universities. Nature-based solutions and smart solutions for the protection of urban ecological resources were discussed, along with participatory approaches for urban nature management in different contexts. Successful experiences in the management of urban nature in different locations around the world were presented. A 2-day excursion was additionally organized in the northwest of Iran (Einali park, Jolfa free zone, Aras Geopark, Aras riverside and boundary of Iran with Azerbaijan and Armenia, Urmia lake, and Kandovan old village). …READ MORE

SURE is project partner in the EU-funded project “Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment of Urban Coastal Districts in İzmir”

Dear SURE members, we are glad to inform you that the project titled “Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment of Urban Coastal Districts in İzmir,” funded by the European Union and the Republic of Türkiye through the IPA II – Climate Change Adaptation Grant Programme, will be conducted collaboratively by the Ege University Department of Landscape Architecture and the Society for Urban Ecology (SURE).

In a span of 18 months, researchers from Türkiye, Romania, and Austria will jointly assess the vulnerability of Izmir’s coastal districts to climate hazards, such as urban floods, high temperatures, and storm surges. In the project, additionally to sectoral vulnerability assessments, capacity building activities to local people, civil society, central and local governments, private sector, and universities will be carried out. These activities will be focused on both climate risks and Nature-based Solutions for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. …READ MORE

The SURE president Jürgen Breuste becomes an associate editor of the Urban Ecosystems journal

From 2024 on the SURE president Jürgen Breuste will act as an associate editor of the Urban Ecosystems journal, the flagship journal of the Society for Urban Ecology (SURE). He was invited by the co-editor-in-chief of the Urban Ecosystems journal, Prof. C.Y. Jim.

The Urban Ecosystems journal was launched in 1997 and is now preparing volume 26 with six issues per year. The editorial board has worked assiduously to attract submissions and readers. In 2022, the Scopus impact factor reached 2.9, and 5-year impact factor 3.4, accompanied by 381,270.

Prof. Breuste will use his new position to stimulate and invite also SURE members to publish in Urban Ecosystems and to provide their research to the scientific public.

SURE in China – the visit of the SURE President

In China, urban ecology is developing very dynamically in various disciplines. Topics such as ecosystem services, CO2 neutrality, resilience and biodiversity of cities are addressed in planning, design, architecture and urban development in research and teaching. Urban biodiversity, in particular, has become significantly more important in universities over the last four years.

SURE President Jürgen Breuste visited a total of 5 universities and institutes (Guangzhou, Xiamen, Shanghai, Xuzhou) in China in November 2023 and gave highly regarded and widely discussed lectures on urban biodiversity.

Overall, there is continued great interest among younger scientists and students in urban ecology topics and, in particular, in SURE as an organization. In 2024, the 10th SURE Summer School will take place in Shanghai at Jiatong University under the direction of Prof. Junxiang Li. The SURE International Center for Urban Ecology is planning a collaboration on urban biodiversity in research and teaching with the Center for Urban Architecture (CAUP) at Tonji University Shanghai (Prof. Jing Gan).


Visit of SURE president in the Institute of the Urban Environment in Xiamen. Prof. Breuste and Prof. Tao Lin, the head of the institute.

The workshop of the Society for Urban Ecology in Bucharest, 17-19 November, 2023 was successful!

SURE Workshop – Paradigm shift in urban ecology


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

Society for Urban Ecology in partnership with Centre for Environmental Research and Impact Studies have organized the Workshop of Society for Urban Ecology – Paradigm shift in urban ecology, in Bucharest, November 17-19th, 2023. The workshop was part of the

ECOSMART 2023 – International Conference – Environment at a CrossrOads: SMART approaches for a sustainable future

The workshop aimed to offer a framework for discussions into the Society of Urban Ecology, for creating the new opportunities for collaboration between their members.

22 researchers and students participated from 4 countries (Romania, Austria, Turkey, Poland). The SURE Central Europe Chapter was represented by a strong delegation from Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznan, which include Professor Andrzej Mizgajski, Damian Łowicki, Iwona Zwierzchowska, Lidia Ponizy, Katarzyna Fagiewicz, and Piotr Lupa.

The workshop started with two presentations of the local experiences related to Poznan (Iwona Zwierzchowska) and Bucharest metropolitan area (Alexandru Ionuț-Petrișor). After that three proposed microprojects were presented in order to be extended inside of Society of Urban Ecology:

  • Creating urban green spaces which promote intergenerational equity. Project and discussion coordinated by assistant professor Diana Onose, University of Bucharest. Contact.
  • Socio-cultural integration of immigrants using urban nature. Project and discussion coordinated by Professor Mihai Răzvan Niță, University of Bucharest. Contact.
  • Nature integration in large commercial areas. Project and discussion coordinated by Professor Cristian Ioja, University of Bucharest. Contact.

The presentation of the next Society of Urban Ecology activities was realized, including further workshops, summer school, internships offers and so on and so forth.

The workshop included a practical component related to understanding blue-green spaces in center area of Bucharest.

ECOSERV Poznań 2023

The 7th Scientific Symposium “Ecosystem services in a transdisciplinary approach” – ECOSERV 2023 organized by Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań together with SURE – Central Europe Chapter and the National ESP Network took place on 14-16th September 2023 in Poland. The event gathered 100 participants from 15 countries.

Participants showed approximately 60 presentations and 20 posters during two plenary and eight thematic sessions. Their topics included:

  • Ecosystem services across various ecosystems: urban ecosystem, water ecosystem
  • Ecosystem Services at the landscape level;
  • Socio-cultural services of ecosystems;
  • Biodiversity and ecosystem services;
  • Mapping and assessment of ecosystem services;
  • Ecosystem services in management practice;
  • Services provided by the main types of ecosystems in Poland

ECOSERV 2023 brought together research, ideas, concepts, and experiences and provided a friendly forum for discussing research and presenting different points of view on mapping, assessing, and implementation of ecosystem services.

We are looking forward to meeting you during the next event!

The 9th SURE-SJTU International Summer School was successfully held

The 9th SURE-SJTU International Summer School on urban ecology was successfully held at Shanghai, from 8 to 12 August, 2023. The summer school was co-organized by SURE (Society for Urban Ecology), SURE-China chapter, Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), and the University of Melbourne, and hosted by Department of Landscape Architecture, School of Design at SJTU and the Sino-Bulgaria joint Lab of Adaptation and Governance of Rural Ecosystems to Climate Change. It was sponsored by the School of Graduate, SJTU.

The 9th international summer school was themed on Climate Change and Urban Eco-environmental Exposures and their Health Effects. It focused on hotpots of climate change, urban ecological and environmental exposures, such as urban heat island and heatwave, air pollution, water and soil pollution, and their health impacts on the public. The summer school successfully attracted 118 students, among 38 in-person and 80 online students covering graduate to PhD who come from 79 universities worldwide The summer school was co-chaired by Prof. Dr. Junxiang Li, Prof. Dr. Shengquan Che at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and Dr. Amy Hahs at University of Melbourne. 9 distinguished scientists in environmental sciences and public health were invited to give lectures at the 9th SURE Summer School. Their talks covered the impacts of ambient air temperature, extreme weather events, air pollution, urban greenness, and biodiversity and ecosystem services on public health.

In addition to the very interesting talks presented by the leading scientists, there were many activities including the ice-breaking event in the evening of August 8, the opening ceremony of the summer school in the morning of August 9, and the excursion to visit the Ancient City Park, the Bund, and the Yanzhong Square Park in Shanghai …READ MORE

New event: SURE Summer School “URBAN + COAST”, from  2 to 8 September 2024 in Istanbul (Türkiye)

SURE warmly invites you to participate in the International SURE Summer School “URBAN + COAST” that will take place from  2 to 8 September 2024 in Istanbul (Türkiye). The summer school is organized by the Yildiz Technical University (Istanbul-Türkiye) and the Society for Urban Ecology (SURE) in cooperation with Turk and international partners. It aims at exploring human and environmental challenges and finding solutions for these. Istanbul, Europe’s most populous city, serves as the perfect study area for this purpose. The school will include training on research methodology and group work on various research projects. Field studies that will focus on urban ecological areas of Istanbul will be carried out as part of the summer school.

Registration is already open. To register, please submit a short CV and the requested details HERE before 30 April 2024. More details about the summer school can be found HERE.

Release of the 2nd edition of the SURE book “Making Green Cities – Concepts, Challenges and Practice

SURE is very happy to announce that the 2nd edition of the SURE book “Making Green Cities – Concepts, Challenges and Practice” has now been released. We thank all authors and colleagues that contributed to making the production of the book a big success. A big THANK YOU to you all! Without you, this would not have been possible. The electronic version of the book and more information can be found HERE.


Breuste J (ed), Artmann M, Ioja C, Qureshi S (co-eds.) (2023) Making Green Cities – Concepts, Challenges and Practice. Springer, Cham, Switzerland. ISBN 978-3-030-73089-5 (Cities and Nature Series)

SURE board meeting and symposium in Izmir (Türkiye)

Under the organization of Prof. Dr. Cigdem Coskun Hepcan (Ege University, Izmir), the SURE Executive Committee (EC) met 10th – 12th May 2023 in Izmir, Türkiye. During the board meeting, Prof. Coskun Hepcan´s great efforts to foster SURE activities through research and the upcoming SURE World Congress 2025 in Istanbul (Türkiye) have been honored by her co-optation to the SURE EC.

The board meeting was connected with the international symposium “Urban ecology and urban ecosystem management” in which pressing challenges and promising solutions for sustainable urban development have been discussed with an interdisciplinary field of speakers. The talks covered examples from Iran, Türkiye, Romania, India or Germany showing the global importance of urban ecological research and its implementation in practice. During the two-day event, an excursion to Cesme Peninsula showed urban and rural ecology interactions in practice and provided space to deepen the lively discussions during the previous symposium among the participants.

You can find the slides of some of the participants in the symposium below:

The SURE board and participants of the SURE symposium in Izmir (Türkiye)

Webinar “Opportunities for scientific collaboration within SURE”, 30 March 2023, online

Organizer: SURE Central Europe Chapter

The webinar “Opportunities for scientific collaboration within SURE” gathered 19 participants from 6 counties interested in strengthening collaboration within the worldwide SURE community.

During the webinar representatives of the Polish National Agency of Academic Exchange presented funding opportunities available to scientists interested to come to Polish academic institutions together with programs for those who are interested in hosting Polish scientists.

Opportunities for incoming scientists were presented by SURE members from the University of Bucharest, Romania; Ege University, Izmir, Turkey; Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland, and Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology in China.

Scientific and collaboration ideas of SURE members were presented by 9 participants from 6 countries: Iwona Zwierzchowska, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland; Cristian Ioja, University of Bucharest, Romania; Mihai-Razvan Nita, University of Bucharest, Romania; Cigdem Coskun Hepcan, Ege University, Izmir, Turkey; Yanxia Qiu, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland; Mohammad Nemati, University of Tabriz, Iran; Mohammad Ali Koushesh Vatan, University of Tabriz, Iran; Shuang Chen, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, China.

Thank you to all participants for making the event a lively and dynamic platform for discussion, and we look forward to fruitful cooperation!

In case of questions concerning the webinar, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Dr. Iwona Zwierzchowska.

The 8th SURE Summer School was successfully held in Shanghai, China

The 8th SURE summer school on urban ecology, which was co-organized by Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), SURE, SURE-China chapter, and the University of Melbourne, and hosted by School of Design at SJTU, has been successfully held at Shanghai, from 8 to 12 August, 2022. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the 8th SURE-SJTU summer school was held online. The 2022 international summer school is themed on Urban Biodiversity and Conservation: Global Perspectives and Comparisons. It focuses on hotpots of urban biodiversity, and the nexus of human activities and human habitats, and urban ecology.

The summer school has successfully attracted nearly 200 students from undergraduate to PhD who come from 93 universities at 10 countries: the United Kingdom, the USA, Hungary, Korea, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Mexico, Iran, Turkey, and China. The summer school was co-chaired by Prof. Dr. Junxiang Li at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Prof. Dr. Juergen Breuste at University of Salzburg, and Dr. Amy Hahs at University of Melbourne. 11 distinguished scientists in urban ecology and urban biodiversity have been invited to give lectures at the 8th SURE Summer School. Their talks cover the wide topics on urban biodiversity protection, urban biodiversity research methodology, state-of-the-art theories of urban biodiversity, and urban biodiversity conservation practices. … READ MORE

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.

Jürgen Breuste

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)

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 onBiodiversity – 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.

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.

Symposium participants

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!

Certificate honorary membership Prof. Andrzej Mizgajski

Certificate honorary membership Prof. Ingo Kowarik

Honorary certificate Katarzyna Fagiewicz

Statement of the SURE President

Jürgen Breuste

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

Breuste, J. (2022):  The Green City. Urban Nature as an Ideal, Provider of Services and Conceptual Urban Design Approach. Springer Spektrum, Berlin Heidelberg

Breuste, J.; S. Pauleit; D. Haase; M. Sauerwein (2021):  Urban Ecosystems. Functions, Management, Development. Springer Spektrum, Berlin Heidelberg

Breuste J (ed), Artmann M, Ioja C, Qureshi S (co-eds.) (2020) Making Green Cities – Concepts, Challenges and Practice. Springer, Cham, Switzerland. ISBN 978-3-030-37716-8 (Cities and Nature Series)

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.

Special Issue of Sustainability now published:

A Systemic Perspective on Urban Food Supply: Assessing Different Types of Urban Agriculture

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 participated at the „The Nature of Cities Festival“

The Nature of Cities Festival is an online event and took place between 22-26 February. The festival offered 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 take a look at 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 explored through a short presentation, meditation and interactive breakout rooms how to overcome the human/nature dichotomy. We discussed 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.

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.

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.

Printed book
Ca. 139,99 € | Ca. £119.99 | Ca.
Available from your library or
Printed eBook for just
€ | $ 24.99