“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.” — Max Planck As a graduate student, I was often assigned to read the foundational work of pioneering ecologists such as […]
“Urban nature and public art can help to break down barriers both mental and physical, sparking imaginations, catalyzing place making, forging new connections, and bringing people together.” Mankind may have left the savannah some million years ago, but the savannah never quite left us. It makes sense that since we co-evolved with nature, our need […]
“Artists bring into focus the complexity of our current situation and, in the complexity, there is beauty and potential in uncovering new pathways forward.” The world’s ecosystems are rapidly changing, and urban natural areas are often the first to exhibit these changes. The urban heat island effect and increased air, water, and soil pollution are […]
If you took the city of Tokyo and turned it upside down and shook it you would be amazed at the animals that fall out: badgers, wolves, boa constrictors, crocodiles, ostriches, baboons, capybaras, wild boars, leopards, manatees, ruminants, in untold numbers. There is no doubt in my mind that that feral giraffes and feral hippos […]
A review of: Painting Central Park, by Roger Pasquier. 2015. ISBN: 0-86565-314-3. Vendome Press, New York. 197 pages. Buy the Book. For the past two years, I’ve invited people to pick free food on Swale, an edible public park built on a barge in New York City. Creating something unexpected is a technique that I’ve utilized on […]
A review of Urban Nature: Poems About Wildlife in the City. 2000. Edited by Laure-Anne Bosselaar. Milkweed Editions, Minneapolis. ISBN: 1571314105. 265 pages. Buy the book. How can poems advance our understanding of nature in cities? If cities themselves are ecosystems of people, nature, and infrastructure, it follows that these elements can coexist in a […]
A review of Earth Stories, an exhibition on view at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles now through February 28, 2016.
Three months ago, we opened a slightly audacious restaurant and garden in a working-class suburb of Osaka, Japan with the intent of connecting people more deeply with food and nature in their neighborhood. Experimental and temporary in nature, the project was approached not as a business or social enterprise, but as what might be called […]