Swyngedouw, Erik. (2006) In the Nature of Cities Urban political ecology and the politics of urban metabolism
In the Nature of Cities engages with the long overdue task of re-inserting questions of
nature and ecology into the urban debate. This path-breaking collection charts the terrain
of urban political ecology, and untangles the economic, political, social and ecological
processes that form contemporary urban landscapes.
Written by key political ecology scholars, the essays in this book attest that the reentry
of the ecological agenda into urban theory is vital, both in terms of understanding
contemporary urbanization processes, and of engaging in a meaningful environmental
The question of whose nature is, or becomes, urbanized, and the uneven power
relations through which this socio-metabolic transformation takes place, are the central
themes debated in this book. Foregrounding the socio-ecological activism that contests
the dominant forms of urbanizing nature, the contributors endeavour to open up a
research agenda and a political platform that sets pointers for democratizing the politics
through which nature becomes urbanized and contemporary cities are produced as both
enabling and disempowering dwelling spaces for humans and non-humans alike.