“Ecology” is another one of those words that I’ve hearing more and more, used in ways that you might not immediately associate with the field of ecology. The “ecology of innovation” for example, is a term that describes the actors, interactions, and environmental conditions necessary to foster the propagation of innovative ideas. Relating to the field of urban planning, I’ve come across three main aspects of urban ecology: the quantitative/modeling studies, the sociological and historical conceptual frameworks, and the urban ecological design principals. These three aspects make up the “ecology” of urban ecology because they influence and interact with each other, are evolving, and exist within a broader context which shapes them all.
Utopian Towns and Company Towns were both part of the same reaction of congestion within cities during the Industrial Revolution. In contrast to the tenement housing, settlement housing, and progressive era responses to congestion in cities, founders of Utopian towns and company towns believed it better to leave the cities altogether, that more productive and healthy environments had to be achieved at lower densities and with physical configurations different from those of the 19th century industrial city.