Eco Books - environmental books online
Contact Us
Our Bestselling Books

Books on:

Animal Rights
Black History
Clean Energy
Eco Design
Eco History
Food and Nutrition
Genetic Engineering
Green Cities
Green Politics
Local Economics
Natural Building
Peace and Nonviolence
Simple Living
Trees and Forests

The Ecological City

Preserving and Restoring Urban Biodiversity

by Rutherford H. Platt, Rowan A. Rowntree and Pamela C. Muick (editors)

290 pages, paperback, University of Massachusetts Press, 1994

The essays in The Ecological City propose new ways of preserving and restoring the balance between the natural and the built environment in urban communities.

Praise for The Ecological City

"This collection approaches the idea of 'sustainability' from a number of different, equally viable points of view and contains thought-provoking concepts that are illustrated or supported by data and specific examples. The work would be useful to regional planners, local conservation commissions, ecologists who become involved in urban problems and academics." C. John Burk, Smith College

Quotes from The Ecological City

"An example of regeneration in a city is available from Yokahama, Japan. This great industrial city (population 3,200,000) has space for only relatively small parks, so, as in other parts of Japan, landscaping for open space experience has an intensity unique to the culture. This design attribute has been raised to a new level in Honmoku Citizens Public Park in Yokahama, where a simple drainway and elongate concrete detention pond for handling surface water are being converted to a functioning ecosystem, a "dragonfly pond." Japan has unusual diversity in its dragonfly fauna, and these species have special significance for its culture and traditions. Restoration of dragonfly breeding habitat was selected as a theme for regenerating the water detention pond for the following reasons: There are several legally protected, uncommon species (such as Luciola cruciata) that are now rarely seen, and that might be propagated in a managed habitat. The dragonfly traditionally is viewed as symbolizing the spiritual climate of Japan and therefor represents an intergenerational topic of conversation and admiration. And finally, the habitat of the dragonfly is the emergent and submerged plant life and sediment of a diverse biological system that is potentially compatible with the city."--Orie L. Loucks, Sustainability in Urban Ecosystems: Beyond an Object of Study

"Trees and forests play a significant role in the urban environment and have many important meanings to urban residents. However, we find that the effort of many urban forestry programs to expand or sustain trees and forests is justified in terms of a few fairly simple dimensions of their significance to urbanites, such as beauty, shade, cooling, or their contribution to global gas balances. Programs based on this narrow spectrum of benefits may not fully meet the needs of urbanites or gain their support. We recommend a broader perspective, one that takes into consideration the deep psychological ties between people and urban trees and forests. . . . Our research has revealed some very profound emotional ties between people and forests. An example is the following description of an experience at the Morton Arboretum (Chenoweth and Gobster 1990):

A good friend had recently lost a loved one and was feeling extremely depressed. It was about 4:00 P.N. on a warm and sunny Autumn day. Being familiar with the Morton Arboretum and with its beauty at this time of the year, I felt that a drive through the Arb could be both pleasant and therapeutic. She agreed to go. As we drove into the Arb she remarked about the changing colors of several individual trees. It was almost peak fall color. While riding, we talked freely of our feelings and her present situation. As we approached the Forest area, I chose a road with no other cars or people in sight. We were able to drive slowly and soon came to the densest part of the forest where the sugar maples had turned brilliant colors of yellow and orange. Mingled in with the maples were tall green spruces; the Virginia creeper with its fall red coloring dappled the other colors. It was as if, suddenly, we were inside a large cathedral with stained-glass windows. The feeling was magnificent and awe-inspiring. Almost automatically my car came to a stop. All conversation came to a stop. The 'peak' aesthetic experience occurred as the presence of a Supreme Being seemed to engulf us. The beauty and the environment and the solitude of the forest made us become 'one.' We were quite and motionless for several minutes. A few tears rolled down the check of my friend. Quietly, she said, 'Thank you, I feel better--I can face anything now.' It was a profound experience for both of us."
--John F. Dwyer, Herbert W. Schroeder, and Paul H. Gobster, The Deep Significance of Urban Trees and Forests

Table of Contents of The Ecological City

From Commons to Commons: Evolving Concepts of Open Space in North American Cities, Rutherford H. Platt
Design with City Nature: An Overview of Some Issues, Michael Hough
Sustainability in Urban Ecosystems: Beyond an Object of Study, Orie L. Loucks
Sustainability of Urban Wetlands, Marjorie M. Holland and Raymond W. Prach
The Des Plaines River Wetlands Demonstration Project: Restoring an Urban Wetland, Donald L. Hey
Lake Tahoe: A Microcosm for the Study of the Impact of Urbanization on Fragile Ecosystems, Charles R. Goldman
Wetlands in the Urban Landscape of the United States, James A. Schmid
The Deep Significance of Urban Trees and Forests, John F. Dwyer, Herbert W. Schroeder, and Paul H. Gobster
Cooling Urban Heat Islands with Sustainable Landscapes, E. Gregory McPherson
Wildflower Meadows as Sustainable Landscapes, Jack Ahern and Jestena Boughton
The Indiana Dunes: Applications of Landscape Ecology to Urban Park Management, Richard Whitman, Daniel B. Fagre, Noel B. Pavlovic, and Kenneth L. Cole
Rethinking the Urban Park: Rediscovering Urban Solutions, Annaliese Bischoff
The Greening of Federal Flood-Control Policies: The Wildcat- San Pablo Creeks Case, Ann L. Riley
Reconciling Urban Growth and Endangered Species: The Coachella Valley Habitat Conservation Plan, Timothy Beatley
The Metropolitan Portland Urban Natural Resource Program, Joseph Poracsky and Michael C. Houck
Ecology Education for City Children, Karen S. Hollweg

Reader Comments

Your name (will be published)
Your email address (will not be published)
Your comment
Type the letters appearing in the box below

Eco Books Home | Contact Eco Books