Thursday, January 11, 2007

Correcting Thoreau.

A new essay from urban naturalist Jenny Price is on Grist:
In Cities is the Preservation of the World.

Price criticizes "the popular American delusion, which nature writers have encouraged, that nature is where cities are not." Millions of Americans have followed Thoreau into the Waldens of the world, and the result has more often been sprawl and pollution than the preservation of anything.

This blog attempts for Portland what Price advocates for all of our cities: to bring nature writing out of the quasi-mystical frontiers where people aren't and into the cities and suburbs where we actually live.

If we accomplish that, we'll literally bring environmentalism closer to millions of people.


Johanna said...

Have you read Reclaiming the Commons (Brian Donahue, 1999)? I'm reminded of his convincing argument for farming the suburbs, along the same lines...

Turboglacier said...

I sometimes like to think that I am doing my part to preserve the wild places of the world by not living in one (i.e., by living in a city). But I find it hard to maintain the memory of wild places, and their importance, living in a metropolis, and I worry about young people who grow up surrounded by malls and asphalt.