I am currently working on a book (due out in 2018 with Routledge) on small-scale urban greening, and how it links to health, well-being, sustainability, and policy. Using case studies from Philadelphia, Chicago, Toronto and Seattle, the book examines the intersection of policy, research and practice and how it impacts our health and well-being. In particular the book looks at current conflicts around urban greening, green gentrification, marginal land, and the challenge in measuring and understanding some of place-based and qualitative aspects of the human relationship to nature. The book also looks at an in-depth case study on office worker perceptions of green roofs in Toronto and Chicago and includes interviews with key policy makers and leading researchers. Stay tuned!
Below is the draft publisher’s blurb:
Small-scale urban greening projects such as green roofs are changing the urban landscape, shifting our experience from more manicured lawns to rooftop native habitat and prairie medians. Despite increasing interest in the benefits of urban nature, there is little research on what people think about these new small-scale urban greening projects, if they influence their health or sense of place, or how they may link to workplace design discussions on happiness, effectiveness, and creativity. Public policy assumptions about the popularity of urban nature have failed to explain why similar urban greening projects have been fraught with disagreements: are naturalized lawns ecological models or weedy eyesores? This book argues that understanding the human relationship to urban nature can help us create places that nurture ecological and human health, successful urban communities, and more engaged, creative workers. Using new research and case studies on perceptions small-scale urban greening projects such as green roofs, healthy and creative workplaces, and comparative case studies of urban greening policies, this book explores how small-scale urban greening projects can impact our sense of place, health, creativity and concentration while also being part of a successful urban greening program. Key questions include how we measure tricky concepts like creativity, sense of place, or emotional connection to nature, and how this knowledge fits into current nature-health debates, healthy workplace design trends, and successful urban greening policies. Arguing that wildness, emotion, and sense of place are key components of our human-nature relationship, this book will be of interest to designers, academics and policy makers.