Small farming gardens cannot alone link urban dwellers to nature. Maybe fruits and vegetables may nurture us, but it would be not enough to nurture the spirit of nature in urban areas and vice versa. As far as I used to work with highly educated European people on reporting nature of Europe so far I used to hear a proposed linkage between foods, human nutrition, and people digesting them in cities irrespective of whether they are farmers of their tiny farmlands disseminated around houses or hobby farming in suburban areas located in peripheries. I had so frequently worked on Lake Tuz (Salt lake in Turkey), one of the European Environment Agency (European Union) biogeographical region, Anatolian region represented mostly by steppe habitats. Of course this protected site managed by Environmental Special Protection Agency (EPASA, i.e. Turkish government) extends its nutrition and industrial linkages to urban areas by providing salt produced by the evaporation of lake water, but I feel everytime this link could only be a mechanistic one, unable to attract love, affection of urban dwellers toward this protected large area. Another advantage of that area (Lake Salt) could be its interesting place spaced tangent to cross roads linking a couple of cities, therefore physically affect passengers travelling between these cities. Urban dwellers so frequently see that protected area while travelling between cities, not for tourism, but urban lives needs). I should also add that the role of this protected area later on declared as Turkey's first tentative list member UNESCO World Heritage Site, by our efforts on behalf of ministry, joining urban areas and their rural extensions actively. For this reason many urban dwellers forget the psychological influence of their cities, crowd, shopping, traffic jam etc., because Lake Tuz protected area gives them infinity sense over the lake, populated by waterfowl wintering colonies, also calm, silent like Alasca. Why do we not arrange a piano recital there while entering night when the moon is emerging on the seemingly infinite horizon of the lake?! If we achieve meeting polytonal music, the art, and nature there, at that time urban interfere with nature in a natural landscape. Many Japanese tourists already like taking photographs while passing Lake Tuz, buy this is not an intended opportunity decided by our agency. There must be intentional programmes by the agency, and private sector ecological tourism companies there, and those of US. Otherwise urban dwellers forget feeling nature, so no more own love, respect, perceive the conceptual existence of the spirit of nature in metropolitan areas where their neuronal processing is already reserved to noise, crowd, concrete, and steel skyscrapers.
Here not the urban nature patches and biodiversity reserves represented in urban area, for instance a metropolitan area such as Chicago or New York, but the surrounding cities could be the subunits of that large protected area compared to EU's Natura 2000 sites. This large wetland and its surrounding steppe vegetation dominates over the impacts of cities in the region. Therefore such an exceptional case may stimulate a true, more powerful nurturing of nature concept in big cities by means of its perception, and feelings in the minds of urban dwellers. In the meantime, I have no idea whether similar cases which are not limited to the natural small scale substructures, like parks and gardens are seen in US. Besides this, well-designed specific tourism patterns to be aimed in line with the best fit artistic events, let's say in the surrounding natural lands of Chicago, London, Ankara can nurture nature spirit of urban dwellers beyond weaker linkages of a couple of vegetable farms at its simplest, and smallest scale, and monoculture urban recreation parks. In my opinion such structures interfere with classical style and historical identity of cities, and cause ignorance of artistic properties of cities formed by culture through centuries in the US. This approach will also cause forgetting the opportunity of actual natural habitats, rural landsapes one can reach easily by the 21st century's rapid transportation facilities. I recommend well-planned visits to carefully selected real natural areas would better provide nurturing the idea, and existence of nature on urban areas, instead of only biophysical additions of some structural elements, like natural photosynthesis urban trees, vegetables, flowers only have color, magnitude, appearance, and biomass. With the aid of just by planting plants cannot onset natural, ecosystem living patterns due to urban area's own living patterns already filled cities. I mean no niche, space, abiotic components remained for natural living cycles, behavior, laws, competition amongst species, that is to say, no natural living functional dynamics left for natural mobile species, including urban dwellers due to interfering urban dynamics. In other words, merely locating some green mass, production of oxygen, and carbon dioxide, their somehow artificial beauty, harvesting cannot nurture nature needs of urban dwellers. It would be better to search other ways, to link tired people living in metropolitan areas to ecosystem-like living and perceving patterns which could be established by further investigation, and joining in a way, perhaps farmers, villagers and the charesteristics of living patterns of rural people most close to living actual ecosystem level lives taking place nature compared to routinely spending time in urban parks like taking pills recommendef by for human health their during leisure time. That is only physiological, not psychological!
Published on 6 March 2018