Nature Writers Should Explore The Urban Wilderness

<p>One urban dweller calls on nature writers to take a look at Los Angeles, and other cities, in order to regain relevance in today's world.</p>
January 19, 2007, 5am PST | maryereynolds
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The author argues that nature writers should focus on urban issues like sustainable resource use, livable cities, and environmental justice.

Nature writing has remained "a refuge for personal meditations on the soul-saving power of wildness in our modern urban lives. As a consequence, nature writing has lost its essential relevance as well as much of its audience, and environmentalism has lost its muse."

The author suggests five questions that nature writers should explore in cities: What and where are the wild things? How do people use nature as resources? How do people transform the landscapes they live in, and how does the nature act back? How do different people encounter nature differently? How do people imagine and understand nature?

"So come write about Los Angeles. Because to figure out how to inhabit nature in L.A. equitably and sustainably is to figure out how to build the cities we want and to preserve the wilderness we need."

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Published on Tuesday, January 9, 2007 in Grist
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