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Ecosystem Appropriation by Cities

Carl Folke, Åsa Jansson, Jonas Larsson and Robert Costanza
Ambio
Vol. 26, No. 3 (May, 1997), pp. 167-172
Published by: Springer on behalf of Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4314576
Page Count: 6
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Abstract

We estimated the ecological footprint of cities in Baltic Europe and globally. The 29 largest cities of Baltic Europe appropriate for their resource consumption and waste assimilation an area of forest, agricultural, marine, and wetland ecosystems that is at least 565-1130 times larger than the area of the cities themselves. Of the global human population, 20% (1.1 billion), living in 744 large cities worldwide, appropriate for their seafood consumption as much as 25% of the globally available area of productive marine ecosystems. The same cities' appropriation of forests for assimilation of CO2 emissions exceeds the full sink capacity of the world's forests by more than 10%. If the goal as emphasized at the UN Habitat II Conference, 1996, is sustainable human settlements, the increasingly limited capacity of ecosystems to sustain urban areas has to be explicitly accounted for in city planning and development.

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