What do we mean when we say that cities have altered humanity’s interaction with nature? The more people are living in cities, the more nature is said to be "urbanizing": turned into a resource, mobilized over long distances, controlled, transformed and then striking back with a vengeance as "natural disaster". Confronting insights derived from Environmental History, Science and Technology Studies or Political Ecology, Urbanizing Nature aims to counter teleological perspectives on the birth of modern "urban nature" as a uniform and linear process, showing how new technological schemes, new actors and new definitions of nature emerged in cities from the sixteenth to the twentieth century.

part |26 pages


chapter |23 pages


Did Cities Change Nature? A Long-Term Perspective

part |60 pages

Nature Into Urban Hinterlands

chapter |15 pages

Concepts of Urban Agency and the Transformation of Urban Hinterlands

The Case of Berlin, Eighteenth to Twentieth Centuries

chapter |22 pages

A Place in Its Own Right

The Rural-Urban Fringe of Helsinki From the Early Nineteenth Century to the Present

part |90 pages

Nature as Urban Resource

chapter |23 pages

Urbanizing Water

Looking Beyond the Transition to Water Modernity in the Cities of the Southern Low Countries, Thirteenth to Nineteenth Centuries

chapter |23 pages

Cities Hiding the Forests

Wood Supply, Hinterlands and Urban Agency in the Southern Low Countries, Thirteenth to Eighteenth Centuries

chapter |22 pages

Energizing European Cities

From Wood Provision to Solar Panels—Providing Energy for Urban Demand, 1800–2000

part |62 pages

Nature as Urban Challenge

chapter |18 pages

Hydraulic Experts and the Challenges of Water in Early Modern Times

European Colonial Cities Compared

chapter |20 pages

Stockholm’s Changing Waterscape

A Long-Term Perspective on a City and Its Flowing Water

part |72 pages

Visions of Urban Nature

chapter |20 pages

Urban Fringes

Conquering Riversides and Lakeshores in the Nineteenth Century—Examples From Austrian and Swiss Medium-Sized Cities

chapter |29 pages

Twentieth-Century Wastescapes

Cities, Consumers, and Their Dumping Grounds

chapter |21 pages

The Roots of the Sustainable City

The Visible Waters of the City in Modern Mainz and Wiesbaden

part |22 pages

Concluding Essay

chapter |16 pages

Beyond Cities, Beyond Nature

Building a European Urban Stratum