A future outlook for rewilding urban landscapes

In the era of ceaseless urbanization, cities are facing the loss of natural habitats and people are becoming disconnected from nature. Rewilding offers a compelling vision for rethinking and retraining the functions of urban greenspaces in order to offset urban environmental impacts and to strengthen nature—human relationships. A rewilding and greening model can reinstate heterogeneity and support urban biodiversity. Less intervention also saves energy and increases natural and human resource management efficiency. Rewilding provides multiple ecosystem services, and, despite certain hurdles that must be tackled before wider integration into our cityscapes, offers great benefits. The spatial and temporal dynamics of the rewilded landscape have the potential to add values and functions at multiple scales over time. Different types of managed (roadside greenery, urban parks, other private and public greenspaces, green roofs) and unmanaged (secondary forest, scrublands) urban greenspaces have been rewilded. Rewilded areas can play a significant socio-ecological role in compact cities like Singapore. The overall concept of urban diversification has been continuously supported by scientific research and in practice has had both large and small successes. Nonetheless, outcomes remain at a stage of requiring further investigation, additional negotiation with different stakeholders and listening to the ideas of all stakeholders to tackle the challenge of developing truly socio-ecologically resilient cities. The development of systemic frameworks by transdisciplinary teams would make substantial headway for the successful continuation of urban rewilding.


Alberti, M. (2016) Cities That Think Like Planets: Complexity, Resilience, and Innovation in Hybrid Ecosystems, Seattle: University of Washington Press.

Aronson, M.E, Lepczyk, C.A., Evans. K.L., Goddard. M.A., Lernian, S.B., Maclvor, J.S., Nilon, H., and Vargo, T. (2017) "Biodiversity in the city: key challenges for urban greenspace management’, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 15(4): 189—96.

Bixler, R.D. and Floyd, M.F. (1997) ‘Nature is scary, disgusting, and uncomfortable’, Environment and Behavior, 29(4): 443-67.

Botzat, A., Fischer, L.K., and Kowarik, I. (2016) ‘Unexploited opportunities in understanding livable and biodiverse cities: a review on urban biodiversity perception and valuation’. Global Environmental Change, 39: 220-33.

Breuste, J., Haase, D., and Elmqvist, T. (2013) ‘Urban landscapes and ecosystem services’, in S. Wratten, H. Sandhu, R. Cullen, and R. Costanza (eds), Ecosystem Services in Agricultural and Urban Landscapes, Chichester: Wiley, 83-104.

Center for Urban Greenery and Ecology (2015) Sustainable Landscape, Singapore: National Parks Board, www.nparks.gov.sg/-/media/cuge/ebook/sustamable-landscape/sustainable-landscape.pdf [Accessed 21 June 2019].

City of Boston (2016) Urban Wild Initiative, www.boston.gov/environment-and-energy/urban-wilds-initiative [Accessed 21 June 2019].

Corlett, R.T. (1992) ‘The ecological transformation of Singapore, 1819—1990’, Journal of Biogeography, 19(4), 411-20.

Hitchmough, J.D. (1994) Urban Landscape Management, Oxford: Inkata Press.

Hwang, Y.H. and Roscoe, C. (2015) ‘Perceptions of a wild green roof m Singapore’, CitiesAlive: 13th Annual Green Roof and Wall Conference 2015: Conference Proceedings, https://s3.amazonaws.com/aca-demia.edu.documents/39495961/citiesalive2015_YH.pdf [Accessed 21 June 2019].

Hwang, Y.H. and Yue, Z.E.J. (2019) ‘Intended wildness: utilising spontaneous growth for biodiverse green spaces in a tropical city’, Journal of Landscape Architecture, 14(1): 54—63.

Hwang, Y.H., Yue, Z.E J., Seow, K.L., and Tan, H.H.V. (2019) ‘It’s OK to be wilder: preferences for the natural growth of urban greenery in a tropical city’. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 38: 165—76.

Jorgensen, I). (2015) ‘Rethinking rewilding’, Geoforum, 65: 482—8.

Khew, J.Y.T., Yokohan, M., and Tanaka, T. (2014) ‘Public perceptions of nature and landscape preference in Singapore’, Human Ecology, 42(6): 979—88.

Kowarik, I. (2011) ‘Novel urban ecosystems, biodiversity, and conservation’. Environmental Pollution, 159(8-9): 1974-83.

Kowarik. I. (2018) ‘Urban wilderness: supply, demand, and access’. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 29: 336-47.

Kühn, N. (2006) ‘Intentions for the unintentional: spontaneous vegetation as the basis for innovative planting design in urban areas’, Journal of Landscape Architecture, 1(2): 46—53.

Lyytimäki, J., Petersen, L.K., Normander, B.. and Bezak, P. (2008) ‘Nature as a nuisance? Ecosystem services and disservices to urban lifestyle’. Environmental Sciences, 5(3): 61—72.

McDonnell, M.J. and Hahs. A.K. (2008) ‘The use of gradient analysis studies in advancing our understanding of the ecology of urbanizing landscapes: current status and future directions’. Landscape Ecology, 23(10): 1143-55.

McKinney, M., Kowarik, I., and Kendal, D. (2017) ‘The contribution of wild urban ecosystems to livable cities’. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 29: 334—5.

Massmi, P. (2016) ‘Urban green infrastructure in London’, in R.A. Francis, J.I). Millington, and M.A. Chadwick (eds). Urban Landscape Ecology: Science, Policy and Practice, Abingdon: Routledge, 280—92.

Meyer, E.K. (2008) ‘Sustaining beauty: the performance of appearance: a manifesto in three parts’, Journal of Landscape Architecture, 3(1): 6—23.

Millington, N. (2015) ‘From urban scar to ‘‘park in the sky”: terrain vague, urban design, and the remaking of New York City’s High Line Park’, Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 47(11): 2324—38.

Nassauer, J. I. (1995) ‘Messy ecosystems, orderly frames’, Landscape Journal, 14(2): 161—70.

National Parks Board Singapore (2017) Parks and Nature Reserves, www.nparks.gov.sg/gardens-parks-and-nature/parks-and-nature-reserves [Accessed 21 June 2019].

National Parks Board Singapore (2018a) Coney Island Park, www.nparks.gov.sg/gardens-parks-and-nature/ parks-and-nature-reserves/coney-island-park [Accessed 21 June 2019].

National Parks Board Singapore (2018b) Nature Wiys, www.nparks.gov.sg/gardens-parks-and-nature/ nature-ways [Accessed 21 June 2019].

National Parks Board Singapore (2018c) Skyrise Greenery, www.nparks.gov.sg/gardens-parks-and-nature/ skyrise-greenery [Accessed 21 June 2019].

Nature Society Singapore (2016) Nature Society's Position on Lentor f lagore) Forest, www.nss.org.sg/report/ d3e70861 -6NSS%20Postion%20Paper%20Lentor%20Forest%20April%202016.pdf [Accessed 21 June 2019].

Ostoic, S.K., van den Bosch, C.C.K., Vuletic, D, Stevanov, M., Zivojinovic, L, Mutabdzija-Becirovic, S., Lazarevic, J., Stojanova, B., Blagojevic, D, Stojanovska, M., Nevemc, R., and Malovrh, S.P (2017) ‘Citizens’ perception of and satisfaction with urban forests and greenspace: results from selected Southeast European cities’. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 23: 93—103.

Poskus, M.S. and Poskiene, 1). (2015) ‘The grass is greener: how greenery impacts the perceptions of urban residential property’, Social Inquiry into Well-Being, 1(1): 22—31.

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (2017) Alnarp Landscape Laboratory, www.slu.se/en/ departments/department-of-landscape-architecture-planmng-management/about-the-department/ [Accessed 21 June 2019].

Tan, H.T., Chou, L., Yeo, D, and Ng, P. (2007) The Natural Heritage of Singapore, Singapore: Prentice Hall.

Tan, P. Y, Feng, Y, and Hwang, YH. (2016) ‘Deforestation in a tropical compact city (Part A): understanding its socio-ecological impacts’. Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, 5(1), 47.

Tan, P.Y, Wang, J., and Sia, A. (2013) ‘Perspectives on five decades of the urban greening of Singapore’, Cities, 32, 24-32.

Threlfall, C.G. and Kendal, D. (2017) ‘The distinct ecological and social roles that wild spaces play in urban ecosystems’, Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 29: 348—56.

Verlic, A., Arnberger, A., Japelj, A., Simoncic, P, and Pirnat, J. (2015) ‘Perceptions of recreational trail impacts on an urban forest walk: a controlled field experiment’. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 14(1): 89-98.

< Prev   CONTENTS   Source   Next >