Cities and Natural Process: A Basis for Sustainability

Cities and Natural Process: A Basis for Sustainability

Cities and Natural Process: A Basis for Sustainability

Cities and Natural Process: A Basis for Sustainability

Synopsis

This key book is a revised and updated discussion of the fundamental conflict in the perception of nature, and an expression of the essential need for an environmental view when approaching urban design. Whilst retaining the existing structure, each of the chapters has been revised to take into account recent theoretical and practical developments. A completely new concluding chapter has been added which draws together the themes of the volume and links these to broader landscape issues such as greenway systems, landscape ecology and green infrastructure.

Excerpt

This edition has been written with the knowledge of the continuing change that has occurred since Cities and Natural Process was first published in 1995. At a grass-roots level there is an increasingly sophisticated understanding of environmental and social issues, the power of citizen action and involvement that has been gathering momentum. Dedicated groups in Europe and North America are finding new ways of effecting change by initiating projects, whether these are constructing wetlands, restoring wildflower meadows or bringing rivers and watersheds back to health, many in collaboration with various government agencies and municipal departments. Greening cities and sustainability have become major environmental and social movements that have grown to include the participation of international organizations. There is also an increasing understanding of some larger concerns of urban growth, the impacts of sprawl on air, land and water, and the need for approaches that address regional issues. Thus, while the fundamental message of this edition remains pertinent, I have incorporated much new material. A new chapter has been added that discusses different ways of understanding the landscape in its regional context and how this addresses the control of urban growth and the maintenance of environmental health. I have also included some discussion on the economic value of the landscape as this relates to parks and open spaces, and the significance of tree canopies in relation to storm drainage and air quality. A number of new case studies have been added and I have continued the practice, initiated in the first edition, of revisiting projects I discussed in the mid-1980s and reporting on the changes that have since occurred.

Embracing an ecological view of cities is an ongoing and evolving process. My intent, therefore, is to continue the broadening and enrichment of the book's scope to bring it into line with contemporary values and the issues that need to be addressed in the twenty-first century.

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