Design is everywhere in our lives, perhaps most importantly in the places where we’ve just stopped noticing. 99% Invisible is a weekly exploration of the process and power of design and architecture. From award winning producer Roman Mars. Learn more at <a href="http://99percentinvisible.org">99percentinvisible.org</a>.<br/> A proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Learn more at <a href="http://radiotopia.fm/">radiotopia.fm</a>.
April 27th, 2016
Episode 224 of 263 episodes
Humans form cities from concrete, metal, and glass, designing structures and infrastructure primarily to serve a single bipedal species. Walking down a familiar city street, it is easy to overlook squirrels climbing in trees, weeds growing up through cracks in the concrete, and pigeons pecking along the sidewalk. Those creatures that do manage to live all around us, thriving alongside humans, are rarely celebrated for their ingenuity. In many cases, however, such synanthropes (from the Greek syn ["together with"] + anthro ["man"]) tell fascinating stories of urban fortitude. Author Nathanael Johnson began digging into some of these everyday urban species, leading him to write Unseen City: The Majesty of Pigeons, the Discreet Charm of Snails & Other Wonders of the Urban Wilderness. Unseen City: Wonders of the Urban Wilderness