Urban environment: Timothy Beatley's THE NATURE OF CITIES
If you’re an urbanite, you likely think of nature as something that exists outside of the city limits. That thinking is prevalent, and may contribute to the growth of nature deficit disorder among our kids… and ourselves. “Nature,” however, is all around us, and city government officials, planners, and community advocates are realizing that actively incorporating green spaces into urban settings makes for more livable environments (remember the High Line?).
Professor Timothy Beatley, of the University of Virginia, has long been intrigued by the integration of natural spaces into cities, and his new documentary film, THE NATURE OF CITIES, explores efforts around the world to merge built and natural environments. From crowds gathering to watch bats in Austin, Texas, to the popularity of a building covered in foliage in Paris, France, Beatley examines how green spaces enhance the quality of life for residents, and contribute to “a regenerative way of living.” The film also includes insights from Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods, and Yale University professor of social ecology Stephen Kellert (author of Building for Life: Designing and Understanding the Human-Nature Connection).
Produced by Throughline Productions, THE NATURE OF CITIES will premiere in Richmond on Thursday, October 29th, as a part of “Timeless Design in a Sustainable World: The Charles F. Gillette Forum.” If you’re not in Richmond, a DVD is also available for purchase at Throughline’s web site.