Sustainable urban development has seen an increasing interest in approaches rooted in ecological science rather than in environmental sciences. There are two components to this shift. Firstly, a change in the focus of knowledge from individual detached environmental processes, such as energy flows or resource cycles, to the functioning of urban ecosystems as a whole. Secondly, a change in means of implementation, from technological solutions addressing separate processes, to the development of conditions for urban ecosystems to deal with these processes themselves through the planning and design of the urban landscape. This creates demands for research that translates such socio-ecological systems into institutions and spatial form.