Cities and Nature

Overview

Cities and Nature illustrates how the city is part of the environment, and how it is subject to environmental constraints and opportunities. The city has been treated in geographical writings as only a social phenomena, and at the same time, environmental scientists have tended to ignore the urban. This book reconnects the science and social science through the examination of the urban. It critiques the dominant academic discourse which ignores the environmental base of urban life and living, and discusses the ...

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Overview

Cities and Nature illustrates how the city is part of the environment, and how it is subject to environmental constraints and opportunities. The city has been treated in geographical writings as only a social phenomena, and at the same time, environmental scientists have tended to ignore the urban. This book reconnects the science and social science through the examination of the urban. It critiques the dominant academic discourse which ignores the environmental base of urban life and living, and discusses the urban natural environment and how this is subjected to social influences.

The book is organized around three central themes:

  • urban environment in historical context
  • issues in urban-nature relations
  • realigning urban-nature relations.

Ideas such as pollution as a physical environmental fact, often created or impacted by economic, cultural and political changes are discussed, as well as viewing pollution as a social act: consuming patterns of everyday activities - driving, showering, shopping, eating - and how this has an environmental impact. The authors reintroduce a social science perspective in examining urban nature, the city and its physical environment.

Cities and Nature clearly illustrates the physical and social elements of the urban environment and shows how these are important to examining the city. It includes further reading and boxed case studies on Bangladesh, Paris, Delhi, Rome, Cubatao, Thailand, Los Angeles, Chicago, New Orleans and Toronto. This book would be an asset to students and researchers in environmental studies, urban studies and planning.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Cities and Nature is a forceful treatise that uses a socio-historical frame to connect environmentalism with social justice and political action, using graphic and revealing cases studies from around the globe. A must read for those interested in geography, urban sociology, environmental justice, political ecology, city and regional planning, public policy and sustainability." Robert D. Bullard, Dean of the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University, USA.

"This book expertly demonstrates how the urbanization of nature produces socio-ecologically highly uneven outcomes and points at the various ways in which urban natures are politicized. Essential reading for those interested in understanding cities as socio-ecological assemblages and in producing more livable urban futures." Erik Swyngedouw, Professor of Geography, University of Manchester, UK.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Lisa Benton-Short is an Associate Professor of Geography at George Washington University in Washington, DC. An urban geographer, she has research interests in environmental issues in cities, parks and public spaces, and monuments and memorials. She is also interested in globalization, urbanization and migration.

John Rennie Short is Professor of Geography and Public Policy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He has published twenty-eight books and numerous articles and is recognized as an international authority on the study of cities.

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Table of Contents


List of Figures     viii
List of Tables     x
Acknowledgements     xi
The Urban Environment in History     1
The city and nature     3
Environmental issues in cities - a brief history     16
The industrial city     41
Contemporary urbanization and environmental dynamics     65
Urban Environmental Issues     97
Urban sites     99
Cities, environmental hazards and disasters     118
Urban ecology     141
Water pollution and the city     155
Air pollution and the city     171
Garbage and the city     190
(Re)aligning Urban - Nature Relations     211
Race, class and environmental justice     213
Sustainable urban development     223
Postscript     257
Notes     262
Index     279
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