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
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
Richmond, CA Background Nevin Park sits at the center of Richmond’s Iron Triangle, an inner city neighborhood that is an historic hub of the City’s African-American community. The Nevin Community Center and the Richmond Museum of History, housed in a landmarked...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
San Francisco, California Challenge Visitacion Valley in San Francisco, California, has been changing steadily as immigrants from Asia have added to the community’s diversity, and as mounting real estate prices in other parts of San Francisco have driven...read more
Community Design Consulting Services
Some of our past projects.
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 Douglas Kelbaugh reviewed by Stephen Wheeler One the most important challenges facing urban ecologists currently is to develop a language of urban design that integrates different scales -- the building, site, neighborhood, city and region -- in ways that further...read more
Participants at the Habitat II City Summit were snowed under by an avalanche of information describing urban development around the world. Following are a few tidbits and gleanings from the conference: The world's urban population will rise from 1.54 billion in 1975...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
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 Conrad Wagner and Richard Katzev Car sharing is becoming popular in Europe, especially in Switzerland and Germany. In Switzerland a car sharing company, Auto Teilet Genossenschaft (ATG), already has more than 6,000 members, while a similar organization in Germany,...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
Edited by Stephen Wheeler Although the Bay Area is moving away from sustainability in many ways -- in terms of automobile use, resource consumption, suburban sprawl, affordable housing and equity, for example -- it is making progress in other areas. Following...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
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
by Monika Jaeggi Known for years as one of the most narrow-minded and uncosmopolitan of the British colonial cities, Toronto has become the most culturally diverse city in the world since the 1960s as a result of rapid immigration. International surveys also...read more