Vivek Shandas is an associate professor in the Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning, a research associate in the Center for Urban Studies, and a fellow in the
Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University. He is the director of the newly established Sustaining Urban Places Research Lab, where his team focuses on examining feedbacks between environmental change and human behavior; developing community-based indicators for measuring urban ecosystems; and characterizing the relationship between urban development patterns and environmental quality.

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Policymakers and resource managers often frame ecosystem services management challenges as a matter of protecting natural areas outside of cities. Assuring good stewardship of nature’s services in rural areas is indeed crucial but is only part of the solution. Over 50 percent of the world’s human population now resides in urban areas, a figure …

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