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    Author(s): Elvia Melendez-Ackerman; Christopher Nytch; Luis Santiago-Acevedo; Julio Verdejo-Ortiz; Raul Santiago-Bartolomei; Luis Ramos-Santiago; Tischa Munoz-Erickson
    Date: 2016
    Source: Sustainability
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: International Institute of Tropical Forestry
    PDF: Download Publication  (4.0 MB)


    Urban sustainability discourse promotes the increased use of green infrastructure (GI) because of its contribution of important ecosystem services to city dwellers. Under this vision, all urban green spaces, including those at the household scale, are valued for their potential contributions to a city’s social-ecological functioning and associated benefits for human well-being. Understanding how urban residential green spaces have evolved can help improve sustainable urban planning and design, but it requires examining urban processes occurring at multiple scales. The interaction between social structures and ecological structures within the subtropical city of San Juan, the capital and the largest city of Puerto Rico, has been an important focus of study of the San Juan ULTRA (Urban Long-Term Research Area) network, advancing understanding of the city’s vulnerabilities and potential adaptive capacity. Here we provide a synthesis of several social-ecological processes driving residential yard dynamics in the city of San Juan, Puerto Rico, through the evaluation of empirical findings related to yard management decisions, yard area, and yard services. We emphasize the role of factors occurring at the household scale. Results are discussed within the context of shrinking cities using an integrated, multi-scalar, social-ecological systems framework, and consider the implications of household green infrastructure for advancing urban sustainability theory.

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    Melendez-Ackerman, Elvia; Nytch, Christopher; Santiago-Acevedo, Luis; Verdejo-Ortiz, Julio; Santiago-Bartolomei, Raul; Ramos-Santiago, Luis; Munoz-Erickson, Tischa. 2016. Synthesis of Household Yard Area Dynamics in the City of San Juan Using Multi-Scalar Social-Ecological Perspectives. Sustainability, Vol. 8(5): 481-.


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    household yards, social ecological systems, green infrastructure (GI), sustainability, shrinking cities, ecosystem services

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