Welcome to Urban Ecology Lab at the Department of Architecture, College of Design and Engineering, NUS.

Led by Prof. Tan Puay Yok, our work is centered around nature in cities, anchored by three key premises:

  • Nature in cities manifest physically and perceptually as urban landscapes, and as landscapes are socio-ecological systems, nature in cities has to be understood through application of social and ecological approaches;
  • A productive approach to study nature in cities is through the lens of how it helps to achieve the primary urban development goals of most cities to be sustainable, liveable and resilient against disturbances;
  • We draw inspiration from landscape ecology, that landscape patterns are tightly knit to landscape processes and functions, and ground our work on the similar idea that the pattern-process-function relationships among the key state factors of a city influence urban sustainability, liveability and resilience.

The framework below encapsulates these premises.



Thus far, members have completed projects on relationships between urban green space patterns and land surface temperatures at the city scale, patterns of parks distribution and spatial equity, models to advance assessment of park distribution equity, relationships between green space distribution, typologies on health and social capital, and application of big data to understand perception and use of urban green spaces.

The research approaches we use are both quantitative and qualitative, and increasingly, we also aim to be interdisciplinary in our approach, as landscapes are fundamentally, socio-ecological systems that cannot be understood by studying either the social, or ecological component in isolation.


Last Updated: 17 Mar 2023