"A fascinating new book by University of Virginia professor Timothy Beatley argues that while cities must continue to merge with the "green" -- by adding more trees, green roofs, and green buildings -- they can't ignore the "blue," our greater marine environment. This is because we, as humans, have a deep, biophilic connection to the oceanscape, which makes up 70 percent of the face of the Earth and contain 97 percent of its water. That connection is essential to building a more "complementary, mutually sustainable relationship between city and ocean."
Much of the inspiration for Blue Urbanism: Exploring Connections between Cities and Oceans came out of a fortuitous experience Beatley had in Perth, Australia. There, he witnessed how city dwellers, "under the right circumstances, can take on ocean conservation." A real estate developer wanted to build a massive hotel resort along the coast facing the vulnerable Ningaloo Reef. The spot proposed was apparently the "worst location for preserving marine biodiversity." Beatley was amazed by the collective sense of outrage, manifested in everything from bumper stickers to rallies and letter writing campaigns. Under pressure, the state's premier (similar to a U.S. governor) shut down the plans. Beatley says "this story has stayed with me as a remarkable example of how urbanites, even those hundreds of kilometers away, can care for and advocate on behalf of the ocean world."