Welcome to Urban Ecology
Urban Ecology is dedicated to developing harmony with urban planning and nature.
This site highlights all that Urban Ecology has accomplished over the years. We hope these archives inspire you to continue the pursuit of harmony between urban planning and the natural world around us.
Urban Ecology is published to provide information and encourage dialogue on issues related to the urban environment, city and regional planning, and metropolitan affairs.
Urban Ecology gives voice to an ecological urbanism. It encourages readers engaged in urban design, governance, and activism to incorporate ecological sensitivity into their work and to understand the links between the built and natural environments and the many-layered concerns and needs of the people who live in urban settings around the world.
Below are just a few of our success stories. You can find more details of some of these success stories under our Community Design Consulting section.
San Francisco, California Urban Ecology is partnering with Literacy for Environmental Justice (LEJ) to provide a participatory design process involving four LEJ youth Community Geographers. Urban Ecology will introduce the youth to the concepts involved in site...read more
Oakland, California Challenge A thriving population of homegrown neighborhood artists has emerged in Oakland’s San Antonio, encouraging community participation in the arts through after-school training programs, events for young adults, street banners and murals,...read more
Oakland, California Challenge The Eastlake neighborhood in Oakland, California, is one of the most diverse communities in that city. It is home to African Americans, Latinos, Southeast Asian immigrants, and Native Americans. Yet Eastlake’s main open space—Clinton...read more
Community Design Consulting Services
Some of our past projects.
The 16th Street BART Community Design Plan is the result of a nine-month community planning process organized to address neighborhood concerns about the 16th Street BART station area in San Francisco. The Community Design Plan provides both general guidelines and...read more
Just north of downtown Oakland, the Telegraph-Northgate neighborhood displays familiar signs of disinvestment: the major retail corridors are lined with vacant storefronts; the older houses are crumbling; and the parks are filled with graffiti and shards of glass. But...read more
Past Articles from Our Journal
You can visit our contact page to submit your own article! Find all our past journal articles here.
Santa Monica Sustainable Building Guidelines As part of its Sustainable City Program, adopted by the City Council in September 1994, Santa Monica is developing "Sustainable Building Development Guidelines" which may prove a useful model for other cities. A draft...read more
We are often asked by those new to the subject to recommend some initial readings on urban sustainability. Following is a brief listing of some recent works. Many of these books have been reviewed in past issues of The Urban Ecologist, and several are available...read more
Germany Moves Toward an Eco-Economy Germany already leads the world in recycling, with its requirement that manufacturers take back their packaging and a system in which all items marked with a Green Dot are picked up by a recycling consortium paid for by...read more
Randy Hester Despite its well-deserved bashing for being utterly car-dependent, water-irresponsible and unsustainable, Los Angeles has borne some valuable precedents for keeping and recreating nature in the city. The No Oil fight to save the Santa Monica Bay, the Los...read more
by Ron Widenhoeft In Munich, one of Germany’s most attractive cities, political controversy rages over whether the Middle Ring Road needs three new tunnels. By putting heavily burdened segments of the highway underground, advocates promise to enhance safety on the...read more
By Kate Bristol Consider these scenarios: a young man with a serious mental illness is ready to move from a group home to independent living in the community, but must find a housing unit he can afford on a $640 per month disability benefit. A women with two small...read more
I thought I'd take this opportunity to report to you from the front lines of sustainable development. Since September 1996 I've been working with Van der Ryn Architects and the Ecological Design Institute, where we get many opportunities to plan and design using the...read more
by Darrel Deboer Through the 1980’s, if one claimed to be an "environmentally-oriented" designer, people’s first reaction was to look up on the roof for the solar panels. The environmental impacts, toxicity, and origin of building materials were rarely questioned....read more
By Michelle Mascarenhas Over the past 30 years, supermarket chains in Los Angeles have closed older, less profitable urban stores to build bigger and more modern markets in the suburbs. This trend follows the out-migration of middle-class households from the city....read more
by Enrique Gallardo Since the 1970s, groups of concerned citizens have mobilized in response to environmental degradation in their neighborhoods. The concept of environmental justice originally denoted a negative freedom: the right to live free of environmental harm....read more
by Randy Hester The waters of Tsengwen River and Chi Ku Lagoon along Taiwan’s southwest coast are the scene of a controversy that is increasingly familiar around the world. Taiwan’s President Lee Tung Hui and many land speculators support a 7000-acre development...read more