I don't know about you, but one of my favorite hobbies is urban wildlife watching. From spotting Northern Saw-whet Owls and Great Blue Herons illuminated by the city scape, to admiring the entertainment of local Seagulls, maybe watching Coyotes dash between pockets of urban forest, or laughing at Mule Deer using sidewalks. It's really cool to think how we coexist, and it's important that we can continue to do so. #UnLeashValues
Imagine how many more nifty flora and fauna we could observe if our city planning regulations worked to facilitate local biodiversity?
The wild-life watcher in me might just explode if future cities:
♦️ could be zoned for expansion upwards rather than outwards (more land for wildlife),
♦️ could ban building spikes that prevent bird nesting,
♦️ could expedite the approval of wildlife overpasses/corridors,
not only for my own life-list of urban wildlife, but in knowing that biodiversity can continue to thrive.
Wildlife in the city is has many great effects, I am excited to see how people's view on nature would change if they grow up viewing nature growing upwards rather than as vast plains or forests.
Hi Megan, it sounds very interesting, I was also attratced by the raccoons after i finish my work late at school, there are 2 of them with big tummies and short legs tryign to find food? Just so cute, I totally agree with you that in future city planning, it is necessary for planners to take wildlife into account and value thier existence.
I love this post Megan! The urban planner in me is geeking out right now! Urban planning can totally change the sustainability of the city to both urban wildlife and human connection to nature. Additionally, some of these "urban wildlife" actually plays a key role in maintaining the ecological balance in the city. For example, racoons and coyote can control populations of rats and other pests. Integration of urban area and "wildlife" habitat is totally possible. One great local example is the wetland ecosystem in Hinge park at False Creek: the ecosystem has even attracted a population of beavers to the area (Even though the city starts putting on chicken wires on the trees so the beavers can't chew through them).
Hi Megan, this sounds great! As long as building upwards is also joined with making these buildings wildlife friendly, like with nests as Declan mentionned and/or adding decals so birds don't crash.
Great post! It’s absurd how people freak out when animals they consider unwelcome enter cities, when you consider the degree to which human settlements encroach on habitats. City planning definitely needs to support coexistence.
Great ideas Megan!
Great ideas! I would love to see more wildlife in the city and building upwards instead of outwards sounds like a good plan to reduce the negative impacts humans have on wildlife.
These are great ideas. I'd add that buildings and parks can be designed in ways that accommodate birds and wildlife: for example, many skyscrapers in downtown Toronto and other dense areas of the city have nest boxes for peregrine falcons built into their upper stories: this has really helped those populations. Peregrines are thankfully doing quite well in the city! I could imagine that we could build fox/coyote dens in low traffic areas of parks that minimize human-wildlife conflict. There are some MASSIVE coyotes living in Jericho right now that I frequently run into on my way to NoFrills (but only after dark), and if we could accommodate more of them, we could deal with the rabbits more effectively!