The purpose of urban ecology is to develop a better understanding of the urban environment as an integrated whole and to use the knowledge to create sustainable human settlements. Urban ecology Processes of urbanisation within modern industrial society are characterised by: increased fossil fuel consumption and associated greenhouse gases and pollutants. Urban ecology is concerned with the complex systems of relationships and interactions between people and their living and non-living environments in the urban context. The circular metabolism of natural ecosystems can be successfully mimicked through human interventions and sound urban management. The conferences and conventions concerning sustainable development have signalled an acceptance that practices of urban industrial society are inflicting unacceptably high ecological and social cost. The human responses must incorporate a sound understanding of the functions of ecosystems, because ultimately these systems are the ones which support human life.