Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Feral Cities for the urban metis

I am working through Feral Cities by Tristan Donovan This seems like a perfect book for this question of how to find our niche as urban metis.  The author walks through the stories of different urban animal populations from around the world and how they are thriving or not. It was interesting to hear about boars in Berlin and foxes in London, as these cities that seem unfriendly to most animal life are actually home to moderate sized mammals. 

The author talks about how green spaces and to some extent, historical oddities (left over train tracks, abandoned spaces) interconnect traditional green spaces and allow these populations to flourish.  He also speaks to how the animals themselves are adapting, learning to cross streets and eat new sources of food. 

Of course, while these animals may be seen as pests by some, others welcome these new neighbors.  Furthermore in adapting to the cities, the longer term survival of some species may be compromised as they lose their ability to function well in the wild.

Overall, there was a lot to think about in this book, both in our relationships with the animals around us in the urban spaces but also for ourselves as another urban animal.  How do we build healthy urban lives but not lose our skills to survive in the wild?  Or is it too late for that?  Are their "niches" where urban metis can flourish?  How can we support these communities?

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