EnvironmentUrban

Cities make us forget what’s great about nature

Modern cities have lots to offer, but what does their lack of nature cost us?

That’s the question explored in a recent perspective piece in Science. Its authors discuss the growing tension between an arguably necessary role urban areas play in society and the numbing, even debilitating, aspects of cities that disconnect humans from the natural world.

“There’s nothing natural about a megacity.”
“Kids in large cities are growing up having never seen the stars. Can you imagine that — having never in your life walked under the vastness of the star-lit sky, and there’s that feeling of awe, restoration, and imaginative spark?” says coauthor Peter Kahn, a professor in the University of Washington psychology department and School of Environmental and Forest Sciences.

“As we build bigger cities, we’re not aware how much and how fast we’re undermining our connection to nature, and more wild nature—the wellspring of our existence.”

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