The prompt for the paper:

Cronon writes: To the extent that we celebrate wilderness as the measure with which we judge civilization, we reproduce the dualism that sets humanity and nature at opposite poles. We thereby leave ourselves little hope of discovering what an ethical, sustainable, honorable place in nature might actually be" ("The Trouble with Wilderness, p.81). What lessons should we learn from this essay, as well as "Nature's Metropolis", with respect to our understanding of the relationship of human settlements (specifically cities) to the encompassing natural landscape? Discuss some of the specific challenges of an environmental perspective in the context of patterns of urban development, as explored in a number of the readings (e.g. Rome, Pinceti).

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The takeaway in Cronon’s essay “The Trouble with Wilderness,” is that the history of our mindset about wilderness has affected the way we see nature that is a part of our everyday existence. He argues that our frontier past and moves to protect certain wilderness areas has unknowingly caused us to be at odds with the very nature or “home” in which we live. There is a duality that has resulted which hobbles us in our ability to live in harmony and protect the nature or “home” where we exist, while at the same time encouraging an unsupportable perspective of wilderness as being “untouched.”
Adam Rome and Stephen Pinceti do much to bolster his thesis in their essays about urban development. It is clear in Rome’s “The Bulldozer in the Countryside” that from pre WWII days on, there has been a mentality of conquering nature where we reside and intend to build our “homes,” bending nature to our wills. Cronon would argue that this mentality is derived from the larger belief that “wilderness” resides somewhere beyond the scope of where the majority of us live, therefore leaving the “wildlands” around us subject to our unconscionable actions....
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