BOOK REVIEW: Ben Wilson's "Urban Jungle: The History and Future of Nature in the City"
Turns out the history of cities isn't nature vs. civilization – it's nature inextricably intertwined with civilization.
Award-winning author and historian Ben Wilson's latest book is a fascinating look at urban landscapes around the world and how humans and nature have always co-existed in cities – often in spite of humanity’s best efforts. The author explores how our views of nature and its role in urban environments have evolved throughout history – and how far from being barren concrete landscapes, cities are complex ecosystems teeming with biodiversity.
I especially appreciated this excerpt: "If you picture the city of the future, think less of smart tech, flying cars and skyscrapers and think more of cascading foliage, farms on flat roofs, rough urban meadows and dense groves of forest. The tendency in the 21st century will be for them to go greener as a form of self defence if nothing else."
With temperatures rising and cities increasingly at risk of experiencing lethal urban heat island effects, it only makes sense to add more green infrastructure and natural spaces to cities. Wilson's book offers a look at what living in greater urban harmony with nature could look like.
If you like the idea of bringing more nature back into urban environments and transforming cities into beautiful gardens of biodiversity, be sure to check it out.