“NovelEco is a citizen science project that will measure for the first time the societal attitudes to urban wild spaces by asking citizens to study them."

Scientific Approach

It will engage citizens in co-creating an online instrument to enable ecological data collection within urban novel ecosystems. During data collection, the citizen scientists will also record their attitudes to novel ecosystems and reveal whether engagement with them alters their values and perhaps even their environmental behaviour. Comparing these data with the wider community this project will be the first to quantify the social and ecological values of novel ecosystems. NovelEco will refine and redefine the novel ecosystem concept and create a new awareness of the transformative potential of urban wild spaces.

Gathering data

NovelEco hypothesises that a co-designed observational instrument to enable in-field citizen data collection, builds a more profound understanding of urban novel ecosystems, and thus the place of ‘new’ nature in the realities of modern society and a changing, anthropogenic world. The project will gather and evaluate perceptions of urban novel ecosystems, rewilding, socio-cultural ecosystem services and meanings of ecological transformation. There are four, concurrent objectives within the project:

Devise a new conceptual framework within novel ecosystem theory and propose a complementary theoretical construct (work package 1);

Co-create mechanisms for quantifying social-ecological attitudes and values, including eliciting research questions that different communities prioritise locally (work package 2);

Crowdsource ecological (floral) data within urban novel ecosystems (work package 3);

Record the attitudinal change in data collectors as compared to other members of the same community not engaged in direct activities (work package 4).


Publications from the NovelEco Team

Marcus Collier
Selected Journal Articles

Collier, M.J. (2021)

Are field boundary hedgerows the earliest example of a nature-based solution? Environmental Science & Policy, 120, 73-80. DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2021.02.008.

Collier, M.J. & Bourke, M. (2020)

The case for mainstreaming nature-based solutions into integrated catchment management in Ireland. Biology and Environment: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, 120B(2), 107-113. DOI: 10.3318/ BIOE.2020.08.

Collier, M.J. & Devitt, C. (2016)

Novel ecosystems: challenges and opportunities for the Anthropocene. The Anthropocene Review, 3(3) 231–242. DOI: 10.1177/2053019616662053.

Collier, M.J. (2011)

Incorporating socio-economic factors into restoration: implications from industrially harvested peatlands. Restoration Ecology, 19, 559-563. DOI: 10.1111/j.1526-100X.2011.00794.x.

Collier, M.J. (2013)

Field boundary stone walls as exemplars of ‘novel’ ecosystems. Landscape Research, 38, 141-150. DOI: 10.1080/01426397.2012.682567.

Collier, M.J. (2014)

Novel ecosystems and the emergence of cultural ecosystem services. Ecosystem Services, 9, 166-169. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoser.2014.06.002.

Collier, M.J. (2015)

Novel ecosystems and social-ecological resilience. Landscape Ecology, 30, 1363-1369. DOI: 10.1007/s10980-015-0243-z.

Clair Cooper
Reports / Working Papers

Cooper, C, Bracken, L.J, Cunningham N, (2018)

A study of the relationship between the characteristics of Nature-based solutions and social-economic and health outcomes in European cities, NaturVation Project Report.

Opinion piece
Natalia Rodríguez Castañeda
Journal Articles

Elizabeth Ramos Roca and Natalia Rodríguez Castañeda (2019)

Eat green iguana? Anthropology, archaeology, biology of conservation and ethnobiology: different views of the same problem. Revista Etnobiología SOLAE, 17(2). DOI: 10.18180/2019.27.9

Melissa Pineda Pinto
Journal Articles

Pineda-Pinto, M., Frantzeskaki, N., & Nygaard, C. A. (2021)

The potential of nature-based solutions to deliver ecologically just cities: Lessons for research and urban planning from a systematic literature review. Ambio, 51:167–182. DOI: 10.1007/s13280-021-01553-7.

Pineda-Pinto, M., Nygaard, C. A., Chandrabose, M., & Frantzeskaki, N. (2021)

Mapping social-ecological injustice in Melbourne, Australia: An innovative systematic methodology for planning just cities. Land Use Policy, 104, 105361. DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2021.105361.

Pineda-Pinto, M., Herreros, P., McPhearson, T., Frantzeskaki, N., Wang, J, and Weiqi, Z, (2021)

Examining ecological justice within the social-ecological-technological system of New York City, USA. Landscape and Urban Planning, 215, 104228. DOI: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2021.104228.

Moglia, M, Frantzeskaki, N, Newton, P, Pineda Pinto, M, Witheridge, J, Cook, S, and Glackin, S, (2021)

Accelerating a green recovery of cities: Lessons from a scoping review and a proposal for mission-oriented recovery towards post-pandemic urban resilience, Developments in the Built Environment, 7, 100052. DOI: 10.1016/j.dibe.2021.100052.

Pineda Pinto, M, (2020)

Environmental ethics in the perception of urban planners: A case study of four city councils. Urban Studies, 57(14), 2850–2867. DOI: 10.1177/0042098019887932.