Exploring the urban jungle: making space for wildness in cities

Moxon, Sian (2023) Exploring the urban jungle: making space for wildness in cities. In: Beauty and monstrosity in art and culture. Routledge Research in Art History . Routledge. ISBN 9781032355825 (In Press)

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Abstract / Description

This chapter explores how we can embrace wildness in cities, using imaginative design solutions to convince city dwellers of the beauty and utility of urban nature. Cities rich in nature benefit wildlife and humans, making increasing urban greenspace and its ecological value vital for nature conservation, city functioning and human wellbeing. But urban greenery is being lost to development and its habitat value diminished by management practices, as these benefits are not widely understood. Rewilding is a solution that elicits mixed perceptions from communities, particularly in terms of its aesthetics. In cities, greenery is associated with enhanced appearance, yet its ecological function is limited by an expectation that it must look orderly. Given this ambivalence around the aesthetics of nature, how can ‘urban rewilding’ integrate a wilder form of nature into cities? The chapter proposes a new definition of urban rewilding and a vision of how this could look, presented as postcards from a future London. Such interventions aim to persuade city dwellers to live alongside nature, understanding its usefulness and accepting its untidiness as part of its natural beauty. They offer a model for rewilding cities worldwide to ensure future cities are sustainable, ecologically and psychologically restorative ‘urban jungles’.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cities and nature; Urban nature; Urban greenspace; Urban rewilding
Subjects: 700 The arts; fine & decorative arts > 710 Civic & landscape art
700 The arts; fine & decorative arts > 720 Architecture
Department: The School of Art, Architecture and Design
Depositing User: Sian Moxon
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2023 09:16
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2024 12:23
URI: https://repository.londonmet.ac.uk/id/eprint/8435

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