Introduction In the past, cities have borne witness to humanity’s struggle for ascendancy over nature. The city has been a haven where humanity could escape the caprice of the natural world, a vantage point from which nature could be safely consumed, experienced and enjoyed. But escape from nature assumed an infinite cornucopia. In the world which is fast taking shape cities as engines of consumption are turbocharged-world consumption expenditures rose six times between 1950 and 1998 (UNDP, 1998a). Yet at the same time it is increasingly understood that ‘nature’ is finite, the cornucopia may empty, and the social health of the city depends upon its integration within natural ecological systems (Breheny, 1990:9. 4 cited in Haughton and Hunter, 1994: 10; Urry, 1995; Wackernagel and Rees, 1996; Bell, 1997).