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.

Success Stories!

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.

Green Business Certification

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...

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Noe Valley Streetscape

San Francisco , California Background The Noe Valley Community Benefits District on 24th Street in Noe Valley is a busy commercial street running for six city blocks in the heart of San Francisco. It is filled with popular coffee shops, restaurants, bookstores, and...

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Community Design Consulting Services

Some of our past projects.

Past Articles from Our Journal

You can visit our contact page to submit your own article! Find all our past journal articles here.

A Brief Reading List On Urban Sustainability

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...

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A Letter from the President

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...

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Saving Durban’s Medicinal Plants

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...

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Restoring the Bronx Coastline

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...

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Tunnels for Munich?

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...

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Voting for Our Cities – A Look Back at Gore

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...

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The Urban Ecology Journal Back Issues

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...

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Regional Polarization and Tax Sharing

by Myron Orfield The forces of polarization — the push of concentrated poverty and the pull of concentrated resources — operate throughout metropolitan regions. Because the dynamics are regional, only a regional approach can change them. There is little that...

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Alleys and Backyard Housing

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...

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Signs of Hope: Bay Area Success Stories

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...

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Contact

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