Humanity’s relationship with nature has been complicated. From the distant hunter–gatherer past all the way to the present, humans have relied heavily in the natural bounty of the environment. While many people have moved to work, interaction and coexistence with nature is still vital. With this in mind, here are ten locations where people and nature can coexist.
10 Mesa Verde & the Anasazi
Perhaps a rare outlier is the first on our list. Mesa Verde, which is not a populated area, is now a national parks that protects hundreds unique species and the ruins from the Anasazi people. They once lived and coexisted in the area’s natural environment.
The Anasazi cities and villages were built into the mesa to create distinct images. The Anasazi, like most Native peoples were skilled at living in harmony with nature. They had a deep respect for the environment and were keen to live in harmony with it. This belief is still prevalent today.
9 Denver, Colorado
Nestled on the eastern edge of the Rockies, Denver had humble beginnings as a mining town during the mid-1800s Pike’s Peak gold rush. Nicknamed “the Mile High City” due to its position a mile above sea level, Denver has since grown to be its own county and the capital of Colorado.
Denver is well-known for its excellent ski slopes and its part in the game Horizon: Zero Dawn. However, it also has plenty of green spaces. Aerial photos of the city in the spring and summer reveal lush greenery surrounding a small number of skyscrapers. Denver is home to more than two hundred parks and green areas, with the largest being City Park. City Park covers an enormous three hundred and fourteen acre. It is surrounded with larger parks. Denver has many trails, national parks, mountain peaks and other outdoor adventures that are available outside of the city.
8 The Modern-Day Curwood Castle
Curwood Castle looks straight out of a fairytale. James Oliver Curwood was an action-adventure novelist who lived in the structure. He had a passion for the fantastic. The house looks like a fairytale castle with flagstones and towers.
Its location is perhaps even more impressive than its castle. The castle is situated in a small park, surrounded by trees and the banks the Shiawassee River in Owosso. It would have made a great getaway for authors looking for inspiration from nature. It is now a park and museum.
7 Chautauqua Lake, New York
The Chautauqua Lake region in New York is a wonderful mix of small towns and rolling forest. Chautauqua Lake, located an hour and half from Niagara Falls was once used for ice mining in the harsh upstate New York winters. The miners would cut chunks of ice from the frozen lake and then pack them in wagons for shipment across New England.
The days of ice mining are long gone but much of the area is unchanged. Many towns are located in forests, and buildings can be found wherever there is space. Special events are held during the summers that bring tourists and locals out into the wild. While the ice is no more mined for its trade purposes, it can be used to create amazing ice sculptures in winter. My favorite thing about this area is the diversity of wildlife. It’s quite common for deer and other forest critters to come up to people (we have three deer who live somewhere by our house. They sometimes stop by and say “hi”). A castle would make the area seem more fairy-tale-like. Perhaps Curwood Castle can be moved?
6 The Ruralization in Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, located on the shores Lake Michigan, is the third-most populous US city. It shows no signs of slowing down its growth. The Great Chicago Fire brought about a major setback, but the city has since recovered.
This is nowhere more apparent than the city’s Green Healthy Neighborhoods initiative. Chicago has been renovating some of its older, less secure neighborhoods over the past few years with the aim of creating a 13-mile area of parks and farms. This has been going on for years and you can see the beautiful green streaks all around the city.
5 Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam’s Old. Amsterdam is older than many other places on this map. It was settled by farmers over a millennia. Since those humble beginnings, it’s grown to be the capital of a nation, one that pulls many people from across the world.
Amsterdam’s people coexist with nature in perhaps more obvious ways than others. Their streets are often paved with water, for example. Amsterdam is well known for its canal system, a result of very careful planning when Amsterdam’s immigration rates began picking up. Perhaps because of this, the streets are lined with a verdant array of trees, and parks dot the city, including the Vondelpark, Amsterdam’s largest green space and one that attracts millions of visitors each year. It’s a city that’s really in touch with its surroundings.
4 Central Park New York City
When one is asked about places where you can find nature and people together in the U.S., one might naturally jump to New York City’s Central Park. This vast expanse of green stands out against the skyscrapers and office buildings that surround it. It is a man-made structure of steel and glass, which creates a beautiful green canvas.
Central Park measures two and a quarter miles in length and half a mile in width and covers more than seven hundred acres. It is visited by millions each year and is the most popular tourist area in the United States. There are many attractions hidden among the foliage, including a mall and a castle. It is truly a wonderland and a place where people can coexist with the natural world.
3 The Majesty Of 25 Verde
25 Verde is almost a small village by itself. It is a building, garden, and art piece all rolled into one. The building is located in Milan, Italy. It was designed by Luciano Pia who has a gift for blending the natural with the man-made. Pia’s goal was to bring the nearby hills into the city and give it some more green space, and he succeeded.
25 Verde, a three-sided, box-shaped apartment block, is located in the middle of a beautiful, raised green space. Its terraces and other surfaces are covered with trees, flowers, and greenery. Even the buildings were designed to blend in with green paints or rust-colored steel. The real plants’ combined efforts pull hundreds of liters from the atmosphere. It acts almost like a living filter to Milan, the birthplace Fiat. If well maintained, it should last for many years.
2 Auckland, New Zealand
As any fan would know, The Lord of the RingsNew Zealand is beautiful, I can tell you that. Wide, sweeping grasslands run along stony hills and through forests, right down to the banks of Auckland, the country’s largest city. Established by the Maori, joined by the British, originally the capital before Wellington, and now an international melting pot of cultures, Auckland also serves as an introduction to New Zealand’s natural wonders.
Auckland was built not only because of its beautiful rolling hills but also because of the Auckland Volcanic Field. It is a grouping volcanic points that have been largely dormant in the past several thousand-years. The Maori used many of the mountains (which they call “maunga”) as fortifications. A few maunga remain, which have been preserved and incorporated as parks and monuments. This is truly a unique way to incorporate nature.
1 The Blended Urban Forests of Singapore
The city-state of Singapore, which is an island, is perhaps the most eco-friendly in the world. There are many places in Singapore that could have made this list. These include the huge airport which houses a zoo as well as a new, massive park and a gigantic man-made waterfall. Rather than fill the entire list with those, we’ll just tackle the entire city as one spot.
The modern city’s design aims to improve the environment. A lot of new construction is covered with greenery. Efforts are being made to increase green spaces and protect wildlife and the natural environment. Even the farms of Singapore have been transformed into indoor, vertical structures. There aren’t many modern places more in touch with their environment like Singapore.