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
The East Bay Greenway Concept Plan details a bicycle and pedestrian pathway that extends from Oakland to Hayward underneath the elevated BART tracks. This twelve mile long greenway runs through some of the poorest neighborhoods in the East Bay, neighborhoods without...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
Community Design Consulting Services
Some of our past projects.
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
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.
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
Lisa Gartland Scientific data show temperatures in cities all over the world, from Baltimore and Phoenix to Shanghai and Tokyo, are steadily increasing by one half to one degree Fahrenheit every ten years, and the primary cause isn't global warming. Cities -- urban...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
Rebecca Koffman Every day at the Durban Station Market, street vendors do a booming trade selling plant muti (medicine) to the thousands of commuters who pour into the city-center. In this port city, in South Africa's Eastern Province of Kwazulu-Natal, over 700...read more
Paul Mankiewicz Today's urban estuaries are lined with miles of linear bulkhead and seawall. But just a century ago, they had a highly varied coastline of beaches, marshes, rocky outcrops, bays, cliffs and creek mouths. Where could the immense amount of materials...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 James B. Goodno Not too long ago, cities figured prominently in national politics. As a result, presidential candidates offered urban programs as a matter of course, and public investment flowed into housing, community development, transportation, social...read more
Investment Firm Backs New Urbanism Columbus Realty Trust, one of the nation's leading real estate investment firms, is backing "new urbanist"-style housing development. Stating that "Columbus is a proponent of 'New Urbanism'," the firm is seeking to invest in...read more
by Rachel Peterson Texas has witnessed an unusual pattern of development along its 2,000 mile border with Mexico. Colonias are unincorporated, "informal" rural subdivisions that usually lack water, wastewater service, and paved roads. There are an estimated 1,436 such...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