Posts

The Invisible in the City

Much that happens in cities — urban areas more broadly — is not obvious to the naked eye or to casual observation.  The invisible things in urban social-ecological systems represent four key dimensions: social processes and their legacies; the built and technological structures and infrastructures; ecological structures and processes; and influences and events that arrive […]

A Background Reading for the June 2015 Quarterly Project Meeting

Several of us have been working on an essay to describe more fully than an earlier post here, a theory of urban heterogeneity.  That essay is not complete yet, but it is mature enough to share with the BES community for purposed of this meeting. It is entitled “Dynamic Heterogeneity as a Framework to Promote […]

Urban Ecology: Knowing or Making?

Our friend and colleague, Alex Felson, of the Yale School of Architecture and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies has a unusual perspective on what urban ecology is and does.  Trained as a landscape architect, urban designer and as an ecological scientist, his perspective is quite unusual among urbanists.  You can find information […]

Theory of Urban Heterogeneity

In order to plan for the next phase of BES, we are beginning to consider theoretical frameworks.  Here is the current status of that search. A Multitude of Urban Theories.  There are many theories relevant to urban ecosystems.  These theories differ in their focus on specific facets of urban structure, function, or dynamics, and in […]

Does Urbanization Stop?

A lot of effort in urban ecological science around the world is now focused on the process of urbanization.  This is reasonable because the demographic, social, environmental, and economic shifts toward urban in all its forms have become dominant trends for our planet.  The conversion of land from rural or wild landscapes and covers to […]

Urban Ecology: Stones or Rocks?

Why are there two words for mineral concretions?  And what does that have to do with urban ecology? I recently visited Newark, NJ to work with BES urban design expert, Brian McGrath.  He lives in an the old industrial neighborhood of “The Ironbound,” and like many such places, there is great dynamism.  Some old buildings […]

Introducing the BES Urban Lexicon

The members of BES represent a wide variety of disciplines and backgrounds.  Some are educators, some are experts in community engagement, and some are researchers whose interests span from physical to social sciences.  It is no surprise that such a diverse community might use the same words in different ways, or have vocabularies that emerge […]

A New Book on Urban Ecology

A new book on urban ecology is about to appear.  Three urban ecologists from the University of Quebec in Montreal, Beatrix Beisner, Christian Messier, and Luc-Alain Giraldeau, have compiled an engaging series of essays to share with general readers and students the richness of ecological processes and phenomena in cities, suburbs, and exurbs (CSE).  I […]

Baltimore’s Urbanite Magazine Explores Big Urban Theory

The Urbanite (www.urbanitebaltimore.com) is one of Baltimore’s cultural and intellectual treasures.  Available free at many locations, or by subscription for those who don’t get to town every month, it is always a treat to see the diverse contributions of good writing, photography, and art the editors have gathered together. Over the past few months Urbanite […]

Post-Industrial Baltimore

Baltimore is often called a “post-industrial” urban region.  What set of cultural and theoretical assumptions does this label invoke?  The industrial and post-industrial tag emerges from the Modernist program and discontent with it. What is Modernism? The industry window at Zion Church The cultural program of Modernism, which like any cultural program is a mix […]