Urban Ecology and Intervention in the 21st Century Americas

 Urban Ecology and Intervention in the 21st Century Americas

Urban Ecology and Intervention in the 21st Century Americas

Every autumn Los Angeles and the bulk of Southern California are pummeled by the caustically dry Santa Ana winds. Carrying dust and fire-starting heat, these annual winds have their own mythology in the city, where this book first began to germinate many years ago. Sometimes called “the devil winds,” the Santa Ana have been said to drive people mad, to induce rage, to spark violence among the city of angels’ overheated, world-weary inhabitants.

Joan Didion saw them as directly linked to the city’s ethos:Los Angeles weather is the weather of catastrophe, of apocalypse, and, just as the reliably long and bitter winters of New England determine the way life is lived there, so the violence and unpredictability of the Santa Ana affect the entire quality of life in Los Angeles, accentuate its impermanence, its unreliability.

The wind shows us how close to the edge we are.1This is not a book about the Santa Ana winds, but it is a book about catastrophe and the city, as it is imagined by artists, scholars, activists, and other urban wanderers across three cities of the Americas: Buenos Aires, Miami, and Los Angeles. It is a book about the catastrophes already unfolding in these cities, and those so many of us imagine, or perhaps know, are coming.

The impermanence and unreliability Didion understood to be a quality of life specific to Los Angeles has become (if it was not already) the quality of a trans-American urban ethos. Cities are consistently understood to be in dangerously precarious positions in terms not only of shifting and severe weather in the age of anthropogenic climate change, but also in political, social, spatial, and economic terms.


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    Unknown March 6, 2022 at 6:10 AM

    I Wish You The Best.


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