Baltimore Ecosystem Study Institute of Ecosystem Studies

2017 BES Annual Meeting Presentation and Poster Abstracts

Baltimore's place in the American Residential Macrosystem
Groffman, Peter
Co-Authors: J. Morgan Grove Dexter Locke Neil Bettez Jennifer Morse

Abstract: Since 2010, BES researchers have been involved in research examining the homogenization of cities across the US, such that neighborhoods in very different parts of the country increasingly exhibit similar patterns in their road systems, residential lots, commercial sites, and aquatic areas. Cities have now become more similar to each other than to the native ecosystems that they replaced and comprise a continental-scale American Residential Macrosystem. New research is now investigating factors that contribute to stability and/or changes in the ARM. The aim is to determine how factors that effect change—such as shifts in human demographics, desires for biodiversity and water conservation, regulations that govern water use and quality, and dispersal of organisms—will interact with factors that contribute to stability such as social norms, property values, neighborhood and city covenants and laws, and commercial interests. Research has been conducted in six U.S. cities (Boston, Baltimore, Miami, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Phoenix, Los Angeles). This presentation will include selected results from this research with a focus on how Baltimore compares with other the cities that have been studied.