Redefining Cities and Nature
Here is the link to the Copenhagen Zoo controversy:
And the Zoo’s official rationale:
Herein lies some interesting moral and ethical debates! E.g:
- Rights of animals vs humans – how do we value the rights of each?
- Can we extend the just-sustainability to include animals? Might be useful to think of communities the have lived alongside animals e.g. indigenous ways of life vs industrial food system. Urban networks for animals depend on scales, species and context.
- Animal ownership – do we restrict ownership? Regulations e.g. zoning (Illogical or purposeful…) affects use of space
- Particular spaces may be more suitable for incorporating nature and animals
- Is there a conceptual or idealogical ‘hang-up’ of cities being outside of nature? This is also partly cultural and institutional (think of the Garden City movement etc and how colonial ideals are transplanted in other contexts)… There might be a transition away from the human-nature dichotomy e.g. Biophilic Cities http://biophiliccities.org/what-are-biophilic-cities/
- Cadillac and Ford adverts: http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/ford-trashes-cadillac-great-parody-poolside-ad-everyone-hated-156597
We also spoke about ecosystem scales and patchiness and the importance of measuring at different scales. Patch dynamics – how much land area is available for particular species – as an indication of biological diversity. Applying this principle of landscape ecology to the urban enters an interesting conceptual terrain because the idea of an ‘urban ecosystem’ is relatively new. Grappling with how to merge the study of ecosystems with human systems, what do we have to measure? e.g. do we assess patches of wealth and poverty in addition to the density of ecological patches? Think about applications of the broader human-ecosystem model, such as urban metabolism modeling (http://www.urbanmetabolism.org), agent-based modeling amongst others…interesting experiments with taking a more holistic view of human-environment interactions.