The wild reaches in, the city reaches out


A few weeks ago, as I was walking through my city, right in the middle of it, I came across a bold and wild coyote.  We stopped and looked at each other for a bit, but as I looked away for a moment to put my hand on my phone for a picture, it vanished. It was a wonderful reminder of how the city is in relationship with its region ecologically as well as socially and economically.

The coyote is an example of how the wild reaches into the city.  Wild animal life reaches into the city, either straight in across the land or through the tentacles of rivers and the natural landscape.  The wild also flies overhead, or burrows underground. We are surrounded by the wild.

The city itself reaches out beyond its boundaries into the wild.  The development of the oil sands in northern Alberta’s boreal forest is an example of the city reaching out into the wild. This development is taking place because of our energy demands around the world, which in so many ways are related to city life.

Our vast network of settlements, large and small are in relationship with each other and the wild. As settlements began, the relationship with the wild was very explicit: food supply, resource extraction for trade, transportation routes, etc. Over time, what our cities offer other cities and citizens evolves. An article in today’s Edmonton Journal on the new Kaye Edmonton Clinic is a prime example:

The influence of the clinic is far beyond Edmonton. People who come from a significant distance will have the potential to do many things with one trip ~ Dr. Dylan Taylor.  

Each city is in relationship with far more than the citizens within its boundaries.  The Kaye Edmonton Clinic will serve citizens in the Edmonton area as well as northern Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories. This facility’s reach is far beyond its host city; in fact, it reaches into the wild.

The wild reaches in and the city reaches out.

Where is the wild in your city?

How does your city reach out into the wild?

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Interested in urban coyotes?  Check out the Edmonton Urban Coyote Project, a study out of the University of Alberta about coyote habitat, coyote diet and the knowledge and perceptions of residents about coyotes.  It seems that coyotes have been inhabiting cities across North America at increasing rates over the last 20 years.  They are in Los Angeles, New York, Austin, Toronto, Chicago, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton.


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