The Routledge Handbook of Urban Ecology is presented as a guide to urban ecological thinking across the range of disciplines. In it, readers discover the ways different specialists and thinkers approach urban nature in relation to cities, towns, and urban planning.
City as Nature’s director, Patrick has authored the chapter Urban ecology: Art and the cultivation of ecological mindsets. His writing weaves its way between the experienced world of the artist, and the academic world, suggesting ways to cultivate ecological mindsets in cities through adopting the ‘artist mindset.’
Chapter Introduction (Excerpt)
In disciplines as diverse as art, urban planning, physics and farming, just to name a few, it is fast becoming understood that the root of our current ecological crises – and indeed many of our social ones – lies in the wholesale separation of our society from the ecological reality of life on this planet (Roszak 1992; Elgin 2009). This separation manifests itself in every corner of our lives, and has resulted in a nearly complete failure of contemporary human culture to find ways of existing cooperatively as living beings within the larger living system we call Earth (Fukuoka 1978).
Yet as dire as this predicament may seem, solutions to it abound. This chapter will focus on the underlying cultural mindsets that inform these solutions. Specifically, it will explore the theory and practice of re-connecting our ways of living and being with the rest of nature, and the possibilities of using art as an inherently ecologically-integrated way of thinking and acting.
Although we will look at this issue from an artist mindset, it is important to note that all of us have this capability. As such, the entirety of this chapter may be applied to any discipline you may think of, from urban planning to systems engineering. Why exactly this re-connection with nature needs to take place, and how you can use the artist mindset to initiate ecological actions will hopefully become more clear in the following few pages.
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Get the Book
Routledge Handbook of Urban Ecology (2nd Edition)
2020 / publisher: Routledge, New York
Editors: Ian Douglas, P M L Anderson, David Goode, Michael C. Houck, David Maddox, Harini Nagendra, Puay Yok Tan