Human Ecology investigates the interrelationships between humans, their cultures and ecosystems by taking a holistic approach and seeking to understand them as parts of a single, complex interacting system.
Human Ecology is concerned with the social dimensions of current or proposed alternate arrangements, asking is it fair, is it just, is it ethical to other human beings, including future generations, and even other species. Improvement of what, by what means, and in whose interest, are all important questions for Human Ecology.
Urban environment studies ask the question, are we ready for an urban planet? According to a United Nations prediction, by 2030, more than 60% of the world population will be urban dwellers. By 2050, more than 95% of the net increase of global population will be added into cities of the developing world. In Australia, more than 90% of Australian population are already living in cities.
Do we have sufficient scientific understanding of our cities as complex social ecological systems to effectively plan, manage and govern them? What kind of skills is required, and how can our education and training systems meet the challenge?