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The Urban Naturalist

I still have a few more chapters to write. This is a work in progress and feedback is welcome.


  1. Intro

  2. Reconnecting with nature.

  3. The Living History of a City

  4. Sacred Places

  5. Living Sacred Places

  6. Passing Through

  7. Graffiti

  8. Naming Places

  9. A Palace With Many Rooms

  10. The City is a School

  11. The Wounded City

  12. Transportation: Plane

  13. Transportation: Bus

  14. Transportation: Foot

  15. Transportation: Train

  16. Share

  17. Ephemeral but legendary histories

...more to come.


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 28th, 2006 04:27 pm (UTC)
Bravo! It looks like you're further along than me on your book. This looks great!
Aug. 28th, 2006 11:21 pm (UTC)
What's your book about?
Aug. 29th, 2006 12:47 am (UTC)
What's right and wrong with environmentalism, and how planning can resolve it. It's about 35% environmental, 65% planning, but results may vary.

Your book is really inspiring me to get cracking on mine.
Aug. 28th, 2006 05:36 pm (UTC)
Hello; I wandered over from you post about this book in peak_oil. This looks very interesting and I am very anxious to see it once it is completed!
Aug. 29th, 2006 12:51 am (UTC)
PS Have you read "Great Good Places" by Ray Oldenberg? It's pretty good about pinpointing waht makes a place worth gathering and saving. There's a book from the mid-90's called the urban naturalist, but its thesis is much duller than yours, IMO.
Aug. 30th, 2006 01:48 am (UTC)

I admit I only skimmed a few of the chapters. Your style tends to almost poetic and mystical language. That is its strength. I, however, prefer more substantial language. Mysticism just kinda confuses me.

I comment though because I have been contemplating just such a mystical journey, but in reverse. I too love the city. I really, really hate the 'burbs. My work, in progress now for 15 years or more -- wait, going on 20! -- is a bitter rant against my home land called The Sump of all Hope. What your work does for the random city, mine hopes to do for the soul-sucking area over which I plodded for half my life.

My problem? That allergy to allegory and mysticism, that poetic tin ear. My piece would work splendidly with your language. It just clunks along with old literal me.

Sep. 8th, 2006 05:08 am (UTC)
i love your illustrations for "a palace with many rooms." that is exactly how i view living in urban areas. i feel so much more connected to nature, humanity and life when i'm in the city. there is an awesome park in my seattle neighborhood which i've dubbed "everyone's backyard" because that's the purpose it serves. it is located right on a major street full of restaurants, bookstores, coffeehouse, etc. every night at dusk, the park is full of people reading books, walking dogs, practicing martial arts, playing frisbee and enjoying life. i love that time of day. it is the time when people are enjoying the end of their days before heading home or they are hanging out with friends, digesting dinner and deciding where to go for the evening.
Nov. 25th, 2006 05:37 am (UTC)
love your work and philosophy
Hey Susan,

I tracked your work down via Wet Canvas. Your subjects hit a nerve with
me... I see the beauty in the "ugly" too. I bet folks are shocked to find
you painting in these areas or do you work from photo's? I see your contacts with the outside world are dated and your mailbox full, hope you are OK.

William Wray --

My Paintings:



Jun. 19th, 2007 06:00 pm (UTC)
Re: love your work and philosophy
I like to work on site whenever I can. I'd say it's about 50/50 photos and plein air.
Aug. 26th, 2007 02:16 am (UTC)
Thank You for site
Thank you for your site. I have found here much useful information.
Good site ! ;)
Jan. 7th, 2008 05:33 pm (UTC)
Excuse the intrusion into your personal journal but I stumbled upon this entry and had to comment. I've read a few of your transportation entries and I think they're quite inspiring. Now I feel motivated to work on my own literature :)
May. 28th, 2008 10:54 am (UTC)
Have you looked into getting this published in book form? There are plenty of options and I know the right editor/publisher could do a great job.

Two authors you'd find interesting:
Mindy Fullilove Rootshock
Tim Beatley Native to Nowhere ...esp good w/connection btw nature & healthy social systems in cities.

May. 28th, 2008 08:43 pm (UTC)
I just saw that your posts are up on DailyKos! How cool!
Aug. 19th, 2010 08:29 am (UTC)
Term papers
Just came across your site today. This is my new favorite and you have given me a lot of work to do. I was considering buying into a very legit, and very good directory to get some high PR but I think I’ll hold off on that for now thanks to all of your resources.

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( 15 comments — Leave a comment )