Understanding Our City Region Ecosystem

9:30am - 3:00pm
June 24, 2019
Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation
From the project

Understanding Our City Region Ecosystem

City Region Ecosystem

Healthy ecosystems are essential for life on the planet. As urban populations grow, significant pressure is placed on ecosystems in cities and their surrounding regions.

Advances in digital and data technology are opening up new opportunities to create evidence for, raise awareness of and engage people with the critical functions and values of ecosystems and their local and regional impacts.

This event will explore the following question:

How might we develop data-informed, digitally-enabled and human-centred solutions to support a healthy future for our city region ecosystem?

We will look at data about the Edinburgh and Southeast Scotland city region ecosystem on topics such as air quality, flooding, marine life, soil health, biodiversity, green space, woodlands and more.

The day will be guided by participants and will involve discussions on the following:

Where and how do we need to collect new information about the city region ecosystem?
What are clear data gaps and how could sensors help to create new data that could fill them?
How can data support individuals and groups to take action for a healthy environment?
How can we engage citizens in collecting and using data?
How can we link local and granular environmental data collection with large-scale models and analysis?

The event is open to data holders, data collectors, environmental researchers, nature enthusiasts, advocacy organisations, neighbourhood gardeners, technology experts and anyone interested in finding ways to improve our understanding about nature through data.

The preliminary schedule is as follows:

9:30am - Coffee and registration

9:45am - Introduction

  • The systems in the Ecosystem - Jonathan Silvertown
  • Internet of Things regional sensor network - Simon Chapple

10:15am - Challenges and Inspirations

  • GROW project and citizen science - Mel Woods and Drew Hemment
  • Edinburgh Living Landscape - Ian Mackenzie
  • Green Infrastructure mapping - Guy Mcgarva
  • IUCN Urban Alliance City Nature Index - Russell Galt

10:40am - Map the ecosystem

11am - Emerging themes and challenges

11:15am - Coffee break

11:30am - Group formation

11:45am - Sprint 1: Define the challenge

12:30pm - Lunch

1:30pm - Sprint 2: All things data

2pm - Sprint 3: Sketch the concept

3pm - Discussion and next steps

3:30pm - Close

Questions? Contact Cat Magill at or Simon Chapple at

For more information about what we do and some of the projects that have inspired this event, visit our websites:

IoT Research and Innovation Service

Edinburgh CitySounds


This event will contribute to the development of the University of Edinburgh Internet of Things Research and Innovation Service. The University is in the process of designing its IoT Service regional sensor network to have broad capability to monitor the environment including weather, pollution, and organisms.

The aim of this event is to help to lay the foundation for future large-scale funded research and community impact around nature and the environment across our region and to unlock future co-ordinated effort to help address these challenges.

Book tickets here

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