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Territorial Prospective Visions for Japan's High Growth: The Role of Local Urban Development

Andrea Flores Urushima

The 1960s period witnessed the most important internal migration of Japan's population since the modern period with the definitive shift from a rural to an urban-based society. This unprecedented transformation led the Japanese central government to request visions for the prospective development of the national territory in an open competition. Responding to this call, a wide range of reports were produced and debated between 1967 and 1972, mobilizing a vast network of influential representatives in city making, such as sociologists, economists, urban planners, and architects. This article analyzes these reports on the theme of the conservation of natural and historical heritage. To support a sustainable development that was adjustable to economic and social change, the reports emphasized the aesthetic and environmental value of natural landscapes and traditional lifestyles. The reports also proclaimed the rise of an information society and stressed the growing importance of leisure and tourism activities, nowadays one of the most profitable industries worldwide. Apart from their value as interdisciplinary reflections on problems related to urban expansion with visionary qualities, the reports were also highly relevant because they influenced later policies on urban planning and heritage preservation.

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Spontaneous Urban Vegetation: Reflections of Change in a Globalized World

Peter Del Tredici

Urban habitats are characterized by high levels of disturbance, impervious paving, and heat retention. These factors, acting in concert, alter soil, water, and air conditions in ways that promote the growth of stress-tolerant, early-successional vegetation on abandoned or unmaintained land. In most urban areas, a cosmopolitan array of spontaneous plants provide important ecological services that, in light of projected climate change impacts, are likely to become more significant in the future. Learning how to manage spontaneous urban vegetation to increase its ecological and social values may be a more sustainable strategy than attempting to restore historical ecosystems that flourished before the city existed.

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Contact with Nature as Essential to the Human Experience

Reflections on Pandemic Confinement

Alan E. Kazdin and Pablo Vidal-González

people who had come from so far away. The growing urbanization of our lives leads us to search for new ways of consuming and returning to nature, as if it were a universal and basic need. After an initial period of discovering primitive nature, of

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From the Ground Up: Why Urban Ecological Restoration Needs Environmental Justice

Colette Palamar

While increasing urbanization intensifies the need for ecological restoration in densely populated areas, projects implemented in urban settings are often beset with conflicts stemming from a mismatch between traditional restoration practices and social realities. As ecological restoration practitioners seek to protect and remediate urban ecosystems, I contend that the broad set of principles developed by the environmental justice movement can provide an excellent conceptual framework for integrating social ecologies into restoration plans. Successful integration is constrained, however, by a number of challenges both within the Principles of Environmental Justice and ecological restoration theory and practice. Using a case study of New York City's Green Guerillas community gardening program, I show how the principles can begin to be operationalized to provide an effective grounding methodology for the design, development, and implementation of urban restoration projects.

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Off Track, in Nature: Construction Ecology on Old Rail Lines in Paris and New York

Jennifer Foster

This paper considers the transformation of two decommissioned rail lines, in Paris and New York City, into ecologically-oriented green space. Situating the restoration of these rail lines within dominant trajectories of urbanization helps to understand how ecological restoration projects may function as financial instruments that intensify experiences of social injustice. This paper considers how the design and aesthetics of New York's High Line and Paris' Sentier Nature construct ecologies that also produce environmental subjectivities, and how these spaces reflect uneven investment in nature across urban landscapes. While the two case studies are aesthetically distinct, they are both woven into existing global patterns of urban transformation, and their evolution from disused industrial space to public park shares an emotional attachment to safety that demands removal of threatening inhabitants.

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Urban Ecological Restoration

Paul H. Gobster

What does ecological restoration mean in an urban context? More than half of the world’s population now lives in cities, and in response to the dynamic patterns of urbanization, a growing number of ecologists, land managers, and volunteers are focusing their efforts in and around cities to restore remnants of natural diversity (Ingram 2008). Ecological restoration is still a quite youthful field, yet many scientists and practitioners hold a relatively fixed set of criteria for what defines a successful restoration project, irrespective of where sites are located. Among the criteria commonly stated, sites should be composed of indigenous species, have a structure and diversity characteristic of currently undisturbed or historically documented “reference” sites, and be maintained through ecological processes such as fire that ensure long-term sustainability with minimal human assistance (Ruiz-Jaén and Aide 2005; SER International 2004). Application of these criteria has led to many ecologically successful restorations, but some ecologists in the field have begun to question whether the same standards can be realistically applied to sites such as those within urban areas that have been radically altered by past human activity (e.g., Martínez and López-Barerra 2008) or are being influenced by novel conditions that result in unpredictable trajectories (Choi 2007). Perhaps more significantly, it is becoming increasingly recognized that the broader viability of restoration projects, especially those in urban areas, hinges on how socially successful they are in gaining public acceptance for restoration activities and practices, building constituencies to assist with implementation and maintenance, and addressing a broader set of sustainability goals that reach beyond the protection of native biodiversity (e.g., Choi et al. 2008; Hobbs 2007; Rosenzweig 2003).

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New Horizons for Sustainable Architecture

Hydro-Logical Design for the Ecologically Responsive City

Brook Muller

main geographical focus of this article, faces, as with many parts of the world, increasingly severe water supply challenges brought on by climate change, urbanization, population growth, and other factors. Aging water infrastructures are becoming ever

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When Environmental History Goes Public in China

Na Li

third dredging effort (1998–2000) began to resolve the heavy pollution caused by increasing tourism and urbanization. The dredging plan was debated, and it was decided through an open tender. Suction-dredging was supplemented with dipper-dredging, and

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Hydrologic Habitus

Wells, Watering Practices, and Water Supply Infrastructure

Brock Ternes and Brian Donovan

droughts in many water-scarce areas. Globally, groundwater has sustained agriculture, urbanization, and drinking supplies, but researchers anticipate a growing reliance on depleted aquifers ( Famiglietti 2014 ). This dire forecast looms over the High Plains

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Introduction

People and Plants

Kay E. Lewis-Jones

capacity ( Kramer and Havens 2015 ), plant knowledge in the general public is waning ( Gagliano 2013 ; Wandersee and Schussler 2001 ). Increasing urbanization and decreasing direct contact with plants has led to a “plant blindness”—an inability to visually