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.
Summary The San Francisco Green Business Team includes Urban Ecology, the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SF.DPH), San Francisco Department of the Environment (SFE), and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SF.PUC). This team provides free...read more
Oakland, California Challenge Once home to two movie theaters and a trolley line, Oakland’s 23rd Avenue today has boarded-up storefronts, traffic that speeds by too quickly, and vacant lots that invite criminal activity. Though community members are sometimes divided...read more
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
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
Urban Ecology's Community Design Program is a cutting-edge example of how a sustainable vision embraces both social justice and environmental health in our cities. In collaboration with grassroots groups in low-income neighborhoods, Urban Ecology creates plans that...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.
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
Clean Fuel Vehicles in Cairo To combat its dangerously high air pollution, Cairo is looking to convert its taxis, buses, and minibuses to compressed natural gas, which produces 86 percent less carbon monoxide and 83 percent fewer hydrocarbons than gasoline. Five...read more
Kevin Crooks A century of intensive urban development has destroyed most of the native sage scrub and chaparral habitat in Southern California -- helping to create one of the world's largest epicenters of extinction. Indeed, San Diego has more threatened species of...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
By David Winslow Nestled among the back alleys of many existing neighborhoods is a large, fallow urban resource. Alleys and backyards, if reclaimed as sites for secondary dwellings, could sustain unobtrusive and affordable new housing with only modest increases in...read more
Ecotown Begins Construction in Virginia Work began in May 1996 on the new ecological town of Haymount, Virginia, near Washington, D.C. Designed by the "new urbanist" firm of Duany & Plater-Zyberk, the community will feature 4,000 housing units in multifamily...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
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
Note: With this issue, we return to a seasonal designation. The first issue of each year will be called Spring, followed by Summer, Fall, and Winter. Visit our contact form to submit articles! Back Issues 2000 Spring -- Designing for Transit and Community Tales from...read more