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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Dense Ecologies/City and Bay Student Projects

  • Author(s): Anderson, Mark
  • de Monchaux, Nicholas
  • Gastil, Ray
  • Smout, Mark
  • Videmsky, Laci
  • et al.

From the effects of hydraulic mining in the 19th century, through the combined effects of bay fill in the 20th, to the de-industrialized (and often demilitarized) brownfields of the early 21st, the San Francisco Bay is an exemplary crucible of the often-fraught relationship between cities and the larger ecology that support them. And as the margin’s of today’s bay begin to be returned to a “natural” state through extensive man-made remediation, we seek to question whether the bay can also be a new vessel, of a new kind of relationship between cities and ecologies; one that emphasizes the reciprocal nature of the relationship between urban civilization and natural wild, and avoids oversimplification and image-making in favor of the real complexities of cities and landscapes developing together. As noted by William Cronon, a skeptical attitude about “Nature” is not at all a rejection of the ideals of sustainability and ecological survival; rather, it might be vital to them...

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