Joint ecological, geographical and planning vision of the components of urban socio-ecological complexes
Keywords:system, territory, urban environment, model, sustainability
Since geographers, ecologists and planners study the same reality, their opinions must somehow converge despite the different languages used. Starting from this premise, the present article attempts to build up a model of the urban socio-ecological complexes, including the components identified by each of the three disciplines through its primary focus, and re-interpret sustainability through this joint perspective. The model is based on four quadrants resulting from the two dichotomies characteristic to each discipline: natural vs. anthropic in geography and biotic vs. abiotic in ecology. The new vision allows for seeing the city as a connected green infrastructure providing ecosystem services which meet the human needs. If the connections are broken, biodiversity is reduced and the level of ecosystem services decreased, resulting into the dissatisfaction of people; proper planning, accounting for the environment, can increase biodiversity and its interconnectedness, growing the level of ecosystem services and welfare of the inhabitants. The model is used to analyze sustainability, which results from the intersection of the vertical pillars (economic, social, cultural, and environmental) with the multiple horizontal dimensions and projects itself unto the territory.