288 pages, 31 halftones, 56 tables
As our world becomes increasingly urbanized, an understanding of the context, mechanisms, and consequences of city and suburban environments becomes more critical. Without a sense of what open spaces such as parks and gardens contribute, it's difficult to argue for their creation and upkeep: in the face of schools needing resources, roads and sewers needing maintenance, and people suffering at the hands of others, why should cities and counties spend scarce dollars planting trees and preserving parks?
In "Constructed Climates", ecologist William G. Wilson demonstrates the value of urban green. Focusing specifically on the role of vegetation and trees, Wilson shows the costs and benefits reaped from urban open spaces, from cooler temperatures to better quality ground water - and why it all matters. While "Constructed Climates" is a work of science, it does not ignore the social component. Wilson looks at low-income areas that have poor vegetation and shows how enhancing these areas through the planting of community gardens and trees can alleviate social ills. This book will be essential reading for environmentalists and anyone making decisions for the nature and well-being of our cities and citizens.
At a time when we all need to approach our shared environmental challenges with an integrative, interdisciplinary perspective, Wilson provides us with a much-needed resource that combines urban ecology, physics, chemistry, and sociology. A must read for anyone seeking to have a positive impact on the places in which we live. (Richard V. Pouyat, US Forest Service)"
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