Environmentalists have not always embraced cities as sustainable enclaves.
It’s easy to see why. An idyllic natural setting isn’t exactly the first thing you think of when you walk through a city. And to build modern day Manhattan, for example, a forest was essentially clear-cut.
But environmentalists are beginning to warm to the idea of the city. The notion that many people can live more efficiently on a relatively small tract of land is appealing. But even if environmentalists are hesitant to declare cities as bastions of sustainability, our world is rapidly urbanizing with or without their support...
So to stay relevant to the realities of most people in the world, the Nature Conservancy, one of the largest conservation organizations in the world, is shifting from looking just at preserving large swaths of open space — the idyllic forms of nature — to also focusing more on natural habitats in cities.