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 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
Oakland, California Challenge Residents of Oakland’s Eastlake, Lower San Antonio, and Fruitvale neighborhoods suffer disproportionately from illnesses such as heart disease, hypertension, and asthma. A range of factors contribute to the prevalence of these illnesses...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.
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 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
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 Stephen Wheeler During the first two weeks of June 1996 more than 12,000 urban planners, government officials and activists converged on Istanbul for the United Nation's Conference on Human Settlements, also known as Habitat II or the "City Summit." This...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
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
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