Cities and Nature connects environmental processes with social and political actions. The book reconnects science and social science to demonstrate how the city is part of the environment and how it is subject to environmental constraints and opportunities. This second edition has been extensively revised and updated with in-depth examination of theory and critical themes. Greater discussion is given to urbanization trends and megacities; the post-industrial city and global economic changes; developing cities and slums; urban political ecology; the role of the city in climate change; and sustainability.
The book explores the historical relationship between cities and nature, contemporary challenges to this relationship, and attempts taken to create more sustainable cities. The historical context situates urban development and its impact on the environment, and in turn the environmental impact on people in cities. This provides a foundation from which to understand contemporary issues, such as urban political ecology, hazards and disasters, water quality and supply, air pollution and climate change. The book then considers sustainability and how it has been informed by different theoretical approaches. Issues of environmental justice and the role of gender and race are explored. The final chapter examines the ways in which cities are practicing sustainability, from light "greening" efforts such as planting trees, to more comprehensive sustainability plans that integrate the multiple dimensions of sustainability.
The text contains case studies from around the globe, with many drawn from cities in the developing world, as well as reviews of recent research, updated and expanded further reading to highlight relevant films, websites and journal articles. This book is an asset to students and researchers in geography, environmental studies, urban studies and planning and sustainability.
Table of Contents
Part I Trends 1. The City and Nature: an Introduction 2. The Pre-Industrial City
3. The Industrial City 4. Global Urban Trends 5. The Post Industrial City
6. The Developing City Part II: Urban Environmental Issues 7. Urban Sites
8. Hazards and Disasters 9. Urban Ecology 10. Water Pollution 11. Air Pollution
12. Cities and Climate 13. Garbage Part III Re-aligning Urban-Nature Relations
14. Sustainability 15. Race, Class and Environmental Justice 16. Practicing Urban Sustainability Postscript
Lisa Benton-Short is Associate Professor of Geography at George Washington University (GWU), 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 Director of Academic Programs in Sustainability at GWU.
John Rennie Short is Professor of Geography and Public Policy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He has published 35 books and numerous articles and is recognized as an international authority on the study of cities.
"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.
"The text admirably conveys the specifically urban nature of urban environments, past and present. This is not an environmental studies book that just happens to focus on cities; to the contrary, the urban itself is robustly conceptualised and explicated." Laura Barraclough, Yale University, USA