Cities and nature are on the mind in anticipation of this week’s exciting Urban Ecologies conference in Toronto. I am involved in the conference as a ‘Poster Presenter’,  presenting a new identity for Toronto as the largest city within its bioregion — Carolinia


This short piece was inspired by Tom Robbins


The communities of academic urban planners and scientists have recently announced (though most of us knew it already) that cities are, indeed, organisms.

This means, among other things, that a city is a contiguous living system with a metabolism and a nucleus. A city is doing its best to achieve homeostasis. Some cities are better at this than others.

That’s right, readers, it has been confirmed. A city is as much of an organism as a microscopic plant cell, a blue-jay, or any one of your good friends.

But a city is the easiest of your friends to say goodbye to. A city doesn’t fumble a farewell by hugging too hard, or too soft. A city doesn’t have eyes to maintain contact with the moment you depart. A city doesn’t overextend itself by promising to see you again, by making unrealistic future plans.

When you leave a city, a city just is.

That’s assuming that as an organism, a city does not have consciousness. Or does it? If a city had consciousness, what would that feel like?

Leading image from the Complexcity Project