Thursday, March 11, 2010

Urban Nature

I've never subscribed to the idea that there exists a zero-sum relationship between nature and culture, but this short essay takes another crack at the idea.  It's true that leaders in government probably don't get out much, but I'm less pessimistic than some.  At least President Obama has Camp David as a convenient retreat.  From this perspective, we should perhaps rethink our scorn of George W. Bush's long weeks spent clearing brush on his ranch.

The book Ecopsychology effectively lays out the benefits of natural environments on individuals, and I'm still searching for a contrasting defense of urban life.  No doubt that on the aggregate, though, cities are environmentally beneficial, reducing a population's ecological footprint through density and scale efficiencies.

1 comment :

  1. Ecopsychology research is beginning to influence disparate fields such as:

    * Physical and psychological therapy
    * Real-estate development
    * Hospital, school and office design
    * Greening urban landscapes
    * Restorative landscapes, healing landscapes, therapeutic gardens, healing gardens and wellness gardens in urban areas

    A hot topic in this area is the "nature deficit disorder" named by Richard Louv in his book "Last Child in the Woods."
    See a selective bit of background with some links to urban nature at http://www.nextstep.state.mn.us/res_detail.cfm?id=1329

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