Top Down Nature: Observatory: Design Observer

Rendering from Bordeaux 55,000. From

In this post, John Thackara brings up question about what it means to have nature in the city. Bordeaux, as part of its goal to become the “crossroads of South West Europe,” has gathered a wide team of professionals to create 55,000 hectares of “natural areas” within the city. This brings up a lot of questions. Does “nature in the city” really just mean a park? Even if it’s big and naturalistic, like Central Park or Fairmount Park, it’s still contrived, kept in shape by an army of horticulturists. Wouldn’t the most natural thing be to throw a few thousand acorns, pine cones and wildflower seeds in a vacant lot with a beehive and give it a century to work itself out, like the forests of New England that grew in abandoned farms? And does a city even want a true natural space,or do they want a “naturalistic” space, that gives the illusion of nature but is really a large English garden?


About Dave Munson
This blog is about architecture, cities, and myself.

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