IGN 10-3
Vacant urban landscapes: Where nature needs care

Wednesday, August 12, 2015
345, Baltimore Convention Center
Joan Iverson Nassauer, School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Characterization of vacant urban landscapes (VUL) in Detroit and other legacy cities as “prairie” or “returning to nature” misleads environmentally and socially.  Environmentally, VUL are novel ecosystems influenced by the structural and contaminant legacies of past land uses and human behaviors as well as novel current conditions.  Socially, VUL lack a fundamental for social acceptance of landscapes: evidence of care.  Consequently, “nature” as managed in urban vacant land programs must: 1) be considered functionally, and 2) incorporate vivid evidence of care as a necessary social means to achieve biodiversity, water quality, or other ecosystem services.