Posts

Shifting Urban Realities and Nature Beyond Parks

Traditionally, cities have been thought of as distinct from nature.  In fact, they have often been considered to be the antithesis of nature.  Ecological science in the past seemed to agree with these assumptions, and ignored cities in favor of wilderness or at least sparsely inhabited places.  During this traditional phase, nature was though of […]

The Kind of Solution A City Is

A while ago I wrote about Jane Jacobs’ insight that cities were complex systems[i].  The stone that she dropped in the urban pond in 1961 has rippled widely, and the ideas of cities as complex adaptive systems, with emergent properties, good and bad resilience, and non-linear dynamics now guide much cutting edge urban research. Of […]

Why Come to Africa to Fully Understand Urbanization?

The transformation of the Earth’s human population to a predominantly urban home is one of the major milestones of the 21st century.  While urbanization in industrialized regions such as the United States and northern Europe has been intense for more than a century, understanding global urbanization requires that we look beyond the cities of those regions.  […]

Baltimore and Beijing: A Learning Expedition to China

Famously Rampant Urbanization This last summer, I had the pleasure of being hosted as a Visiting International Professor by the Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences in Beijing.  This center is part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and is the home of the State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology.  My goal in spending […]

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 […]