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Copyright (c) 2014 Idaho Law Review
Idaho Law Review

ARTICLE: THINKING LIKE A CITY: GROUNDING SOCIAL-ECOLOGICAL RESILIENCE IN AN URBAN LAND ETHIC

2014

Idaho Law Review

50 Idaho L. Rev. 117

Author

MELISSA M. BERRY 1

Excerpt

I. INTRODUCTION
"Under the seeming disorder of the old city, wherever the old city is working successfully, is a marvelous order for maintaining the safety of the streets and the freedom of the city. It is a complex order." 2


"Ecological thinking is a kind of vision across boundaries." 3

Americans have made a fundamental shift in the places they live. In 1850, less than 20% of the population of the United States lived in towns and cities. 4 Today, this percentage is more than 80%. 5 This shift to urban areas "brings a threat of being place-less." 6 A sense of place contributes to our wellbeing and links us to the world in which we live. If sense of place is lost, people can lose their sense of connection to the natural world, even though they are part of it. 7 We must reframe the relationship between people, land, and cities in this rapidly changing world.

The loss of sense of place is troubling because a connection to the natural world is essential to our existence. Through history and "[i]n every world-view, there is an understanding that everything is connected to everything else, that nothing exists in isolation or alone. People have always understood that we are deeply embedded in and dependent upon the natural world." 8 America's literary heritage has long recognized the essential connection between man and his environment through the writings of Walt Whitman, Mark Twain, Cooper, Emerson, Henry David Thoreau and others. ...
 
 
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