Nearby nature in the city: Preserving and enhancing livability

Source: OAI

ABSTRACT Cities are often described as vibrant and exciting, fast paced and bustling. Yet cities also have tranquil places. Where might such places be? Perhaps beneath the canopy of a large tree, a vest pocket park, a colorful garden, or along a riverside trail. More than likely, such respites are nature places. They are unlikely to be nature on a grand scale; to some they may not even qualify as “nature.” Far from being untouched by humans, urban nature is at the mercy of people.

But at the same time, people are at the mercy of such nature. Nature plays a vital role in their lives – as indicated by volumes of poetry and by what is by now a substantial body of research. People are often passionate even about small bits of nature they find nearby. They nurture it, defend it, and mourn its loss.This document grew out of concern for such loss. Rather than mourn that nature is losing ground to infill, why not plan for having nature nearby while also planning for increasing urban density?


Available from: Raymond K De Young, Jan 21, 2014

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Article: Nearby nature in the city: Preserving and enhancing livability

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    ABSTRACT: There has, historically, been considerable uncertainty over the meaning of ‘urban nature’ and, therefore, the extent to which culture and nature are bound in the urban setting. We explore, in this paper, the spatiality of everyday nature as experienced by youth in an urban setting. To do so, we draw on the results of a participatory mapping activity that was designed to elicit information about where youth felt most connected to nature while in the city. Using sketch-map survey instruments, we collected hand-drawn responses from forty-three high school students in the downtown core of Tacoma, Washington. Data were digitized and analyzed in a GIS, and results were revealing of the contingency of the ‘nature’ concept in urban space as well as the centrality of ‘loose’ space to urban experiences that are evocative of being in nature.
    Social & Cultural Geography 12/2012; 13(8). DOI:10.1080/14649365.2012.735690 · 1.28 Impact Factor