Reading list

Below is a list of urban nature books that I have been compiling since 2014. The list is separated out into non-fiction, fiction, poetry, academic books, and field guides. My definition of an urban nature book is loose, but essentially urban nature should form a central theme or focus of the book. I distinguish non-fiction and academic to separate out texts that bring in a personal perspective from ones that are more objective and heavily research based.

If you spot something missing from my list, let me know!


Nature Near London by Richard Jefferies, 1893
Birds in London by W.H. Hudson, 1898
The Bird-Life of London by Charles Dixon, 1909
A Hind in Richmond Park by W.H. Hudson, 1923
The Murmur of Wings by Leonard Dubkin, 1944 
London’s Natural History by R.S.R. Fitter, 1945
Enchanted Streets: The Unlikely Adventures of an Urban Naturalist by Leonard Dubkin, 1947
The White Lady by Leonard Dubkin, 1952 
The Natural History of a Yard by Leonard Dubkin, 1955
John Kieran’s Natural History of New York City by John Kieran, 1959
Hunting Big Game in the City Parks by Howard G. Smith, 1969 
My Secret Places: One Man’s Love Affair with Nature in the City by Leonard Dubkin, 1972
The Unofficial Countryside by Richard Mabey, 1973
City Critters by Helen Ross Russell, 1975 
Birds of Town and Suburb by Eric Simms, 1975 
The Public Life of the Street Pigeon by Eric Simms, 1979 
Wildlife in the City by Alan C. Jenkins, 1982
The Urban Naturalist by Steven D. Garber, 1987
Pieces of Light by Susan J. Tweit, 1990
The Thunder Tree: Lessons from an Urban Wildland by Robert Michael Pyle, 1993 
Toronto The Wild by Wayne Grady, 1995 
Sagebrush and Cappucino: Confessions of an LA Naturalist by David Wicinas, 1995 
Wickerby: An Urban Pastoral by Charles Siebert, 1997 
The Rouge River Valley: An Urban Wilderness by James E. Garratt, 2000 
Wild Nights by Anne Matthews, 2001
Hunting for Frogs on Elston and other tales from field & street by Jerry Sullivan, 2004
Rats by Robert Sullivan, 2004 
The Cincinnati Arch by John Tallmadge, 2004
The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill by Mark Bittner, 2004
The Seattle Street-Smart Naturalist: Field Notes from the City by David B. Williams, 2005
The Hopes of Snakes & Other Tales from the Urban Landscape by Lisa Couturier, 2005
Stories in Stone: Travels Through Urban Geology by David B. Williams, 2009
Crow Planet by Lyanda Lynn Haupt, 2009
Corvus: A Life with Birds by Esther Woolfson, 2010
Edgelands by Michael Symmons Roberts and Paul Farley, 2011
The Urban Birder by David Lindo, 2011
Second Nature by Constance Sidles, 2012
Nature Wars by Jim Sterba, 2012
Field Notes From A Hidden City by Esther Woolfson, 2013
The Urban Bestiary by Lyanda Lynn Haupt, 2013
Marshlands by Gareth Rees, 2013
Scarp by Nick Papadimitriou, 2013 
Silt Road: The Story of a Lost River by Charles Rangeley-Wilson, 2013
Zooburbia: Meditations on the Wild Animals Among Us by Tai Moses, 2014
Nature in Towns and Cities by David Goode, 2014
Welcome to Subirdia by John M. Marzluff, 2014
Common Ground by Rob Cowen, 2015
Urban Animals: Crowding in Zoocities by Tora Holmberg, 2015
Tales from Concrete Jungles by David Lindo, 2015 
Feral Cities: Adventures with Animals in the Urban Jungle by Tristan Donovan, 2015
Unseen City by Nathanael Johnson, 2016 
The Edible City: A Year of Wild Food by John Rensten, 2016
Turning Homeward: Restoring Hope and Nature in the Urban Wild by Adrienne Ross Scanlan, 2016
Urban Forests by Jill Jonnes, 2017
London’s Street Trees by Paul Wood, 2017
An Enduring Wilderness: Toronto’s Natural Parklands by Robert Burley, 2017 
Hidden Nature: A Voyage of Discovery by Alys Fowler, 2017
Birds Art Life by Kyo Mclear, 2017
The Fruitful City: The Enduring Power of the Urban Food Forest by Helena Moncrieff, 2018
The Way of Coyote: Shared Journeys in the Urban Wilds by Gavin Van Horn, 2018
Ghost Trees by Bob Gilbert, 2018
Darwin Comes to Town by Menno Schilthuizen, 2018 
Weeds in the Urban Landscape by Richard Orlando, 2018
Rust Belt Arcana: Tarot and Natural History in the Exurban Wilds by Matt Stansberry, 2018
Wild LA by Lila Higgins, 2019 
Treed by Ariel Gordon, 2019
London is a Forest by Paul Wood, 2019
Cities and Canopies: Trees in Indian Cities by Harini Nagendra and Seema Mundoli, 2019


Adventure Lit Their Star by Kenneth Allsop, 1949
The World My Wilderness by Rose Macaulay, 1950
Wolf Point: An Adventure in History by Leonard Dubkin, 1953
A Kestral for a Knave by Barry Hines, 1968
Fauna by Allisa York, 2011
Clay by Melissa Harrison, 2013

Anthology (non-fiction and fiction)

City Wilds edited by Terrell Dixon, 2002 
Of Prairie, Woods and Water: Two Centuries of Chicago Nature Writing edited by Joel Greenberg, 2008 
Still the Same Hawk edited by John Waldman, 2012 
Animal Encounters in the Chicago Wilderness edited by Gavin Van Horn and Dave Aftandilian, 2015


Urban Nature: Poems about Wildlife in the City edited by Laure-Anne Bosselaar, 2000


The Granite Garden: Urban Nature and Human Design by Anne W. Spirn, 1985
The Ecological City edited by Rutherford Platt, Rowan Rowntree, and Pamela Rowan, 1994
The Nature of Cities by Michael Bennett, 1999 
Concrete and Clay: Reworking Nature in New York City by Matthew Gandy, 2002
City at the Water’s Edge: A Natural History of New York by Betsy McCully, 2006
The Nature of Cities: Culture, Landscape, and Urban Space by A.C. Isenberg, 2006
Biophilic Cities by Timothy Beatley, 2010
Gotham Unbound: The Ecological History of Greater New York by Ted Steinberg, 2015 
Nature in the City: Bengaluru in the Past, Present, and Future by Harini Nagendra, 2016
Animal Metropolis: Histories of Human-Animal Relations in Urban Canada edited by Joanna Dean, Darcy Ingram, and Christabelle Sethna, 2017 
Natura Urbana: Ecological Constellations in Urban Space by Matthew Gandy, 2022

Field Guides

Natural History of Vacant Lots by Matthew F. Vessel & Herbert H. Wong, 1989