Since the beginning of civilization, humans have built cities to wall nature out, then glorified it in beloved but quite artificial parks. In Urban Jungle, Ben Wilson looks to the fraught relationship between nature and the city for clues to how the planet can survive in an age of climate crisis.
Wilson leads readers on a brisk ramble through urban nature, emphasizing both peril and potential ... Argued in a quick and assertive style that bounces from Yonkers to the Yangtze, this inquiry achieves a fascinating intertwining of apocalyptic warning and pragmatic optimism.
Drawing examples from around the world, Wilson illustrates the interdependencies that cities have with plants, trees, water, food sources, and birds and animals ... The title of the book is unfortunate given that public debate in the U.S. regarding cities has used the phrase not to allude to nature but to speak with disdain and alarm about race and crime. Nonetheless, Wilson is a helpful guide to the intersection of nature and city life.
Wilson’s account of these efforts makes a convincing case that the natural world extends farther than commonly acknowledged, and the trivia is delightful ... Stimulating and wide-ranging, this will change how city dwellers view their relationship with nature.