Rethinking Communities: Environmental Ethics in an Urbanized World

Gunn, Alastair S.
Environmental Ethics Vol. 20/4 (1998), pages 341-360

Humans have largely transformed the natural environment and there is scarcely an area of the world which has not been affected by human activity. Human domination of the environment, in particular by the creation of infrastructure, urbanization, and conversion to agriculture, has mostly proceeded in an unplanned and frequently destructive manner. Almost fifty percent of humans already live in cities and this proportion will continue to grow. However, issues of urbanization are little addressed in the environmental philosophical literature. I explore community and sustainability in an urban context, drawing on the work of the landscape architect Ian McHarg who, I argue, may have more to offer an urbanized world than iconic figures such as Aldo Leopold.