Urban Ecology

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The next environmental movement will need a new look based on a new idea, Bill Shutkin says. Not trees and Ansel Adams mountainscapes in the background, but city scenes with city people in them, de-leaded urban gardens breathing free of diesel bus fumes. There will be recovered brown-fields in the picture, and factories rebuilt on sustainable designs. The next environmental movement will be in the cities, he says, because that’s where a disproportionate share of the poisons and the people are. But it’s where the politics could be promising, too, on a different design to protect the human habitat.

The load that has been borne by Federal regulation and lawyers has got to be picked up by grassroots activism. It’s not greenspace so much as participatory democracy that’s at stake. It’s urban realism more than nostalgia that’s got to drive a tough new crusade. William Shutkin’s sketch of civic environmentalism is this hour on The Connection.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)


William Shutkin, founder of New Ecology, Inc., lecturer in Urban Studies at MIT, professor of law at Boston College, and author of “The Land that Could Be: Environmentalism and Democracy in the Twenty-First Century”

and Jane Jacobs, author of “The Death and Life of Great American Cities.”