Integrating Nature into Our Cities
City life: why do we only get to connect with Nature on the weekend?
Chances are most of the things people do on the weekends involve spending money. Shopping, going to the Cinema, attending an art show. Parks are our only non-transactional spaces where someone might choose to spend time.
Parks are where you can go to unwind, decompress from city life and experience ‘nature’. The problem with most inner-city parks, is that you don’t get to experience nature at all. Parks are inherently man-made creations, even our most famous ones. They weren’t patches of the natural world as it existed before we colonized the space around it, but rather planned and engineered to provide benefits to the humans living around it. Nature, when related to a space in its purest form, is what emerged on the earth’s surface over many millennia. It is a web of interconnected biodiversity; microbes, plants, insects and animals that have evolved to take advantage of the conditions of their environment.
Nature, to humans, is a wonder. As a child, I fondly remember hours on a sunny day playing at streams discovering newts and frogs, running my hands through frog spawn and peering at the growing tadpoles suspended inside. As an adult I have become fascinated by the Scandinavian ideas of Friluftsliv and Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoku.
If we could do it all again, implementing the idea of bio veins into our cities, incorporating pure nature into our day to day living would have been the right thing to do. We have headed down a path that currently aims to push nature away from our lives rather than incorporate it. Fortunately within the right environment, a lot of our animals and plants can live and breed pretty quickly. They have mechanisms for movement so that they might find environments that best suit them so with the right space and flora to thrive, things can be made right.