Fuller, R.A., Tratalos, J., Warren, P.H., Davies, R.G., Pępkowska, A. & Gaston, K.J. 2010. Environment and Biodiversity. Pp. 75–103 in: Jenks, M. & Jones, C. (eds) Dimensions of the Sustainable City. Springer, London.
Research over many decades has documented numerous environmental effects of urbanization, ranging from the loss and reconfiguration of green space to dramatic changes in ecosystems and biodiversity. Rather less is known about how urban form, in particular the density of urban development, alters environmental patterns and processes within cities. Investigation of the relationships between urban form and environmental structure and performance is an important issue in the urban sustainability debate and here we use that work to illustrate some of the key ideas in this newly emerging field. After outlining the general effects of urbanization on environment and biodiversity, we then consider in turn the relationships between urban form and patterns of green space, the degree to which urban environments can provide useful ecosystem services to human populations, and finally the responses of biodiversity to urban development.