Section 002 for Environmental Studies majors only.
What is the proper place of nature and agriculture in cities? How do cities shape nature, and vice versa? Where do—and where should—city-dwellers get their food? “Concrete jungles” (as opposed to “real” ones) often seem to be purely human-built, unnatural places where things are made and consumed, not grown. But the place of nature in cities, and our relationship to it, has long been contested. When we look at food in relationship to urban centers, we end up seeing far beyond the questions of what we eat and where we get it. The proper place of nature in cities is at the heart of many contemporary debates over urban policy, including food and agriculture, land use, disaster policy, and immunization. In this class, we will think historically and critically about these debates both in the past and in contemporary cities, focusing, though not exclusively, on North America, especially New York. Readings will include William Cronon, Ted Steinberg, Catherine McNeur, Katherine Leonard Turner, and others.