War correspondence for The Nature of Cities

A few months ago, while attending the 2012 Urban Biodiversity and Design Conference in Bombay, I met David Maddox of Sound Science, an organization he co-founded in 2004. David is an urban ecologist and conservationist who opted out of academia and is doing great things for urban conservation, adaptive management, and science communication. He recently put together a fine online portal for wide-ranging essays about nature in the city on this semi-urban planet of ours: The Nature of Cities blog. As David says though, this has already become rather more of a platform for longer-form essays about urban ecology than a typical blog – and that I think is a very fine thing thing. He has done an excellent job of bringing together a great (and still growing) group of writers from around the world—urban ecologists of every stripe from academics to activists, designers to planners to economists—who are sharing their insights and perspectives on what nature means in this urban world.

After some terrific discussions—including on a long bus ride where we sat together in the evening traffic winding our way past Dharavi to the Cricket Club of India for dinner—David invited me to join The Nature of Cities as a regular contributor. I am honored to be part of this collective through which David is curating a veritable archive of contemporary thought in urban ecology. Whether I bring anything of value to this conversation… well, you be the judge. My first contribution to the blog, where I don the hat of a frontier correspondent reporting about water use and abuse in Fresno based on my group’s research, went up this past Sunday. It is a much longer essay than my average blog post here, but worth your while, I hope. Allow me to lead you on with this teaser graphic:

Urban Water Use in the Cadillac Desert

Do leave a comment below the post (or here – but better there) if so moved. And don’t forget to bookmark / subscribe to The Nature of Cities!

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