David Maddox, founder and director of the Nature of Cities, speaks to Hamilton students on the New York Program.

The Hamilton in New York City Program is off to a busy and exciting start. On Jan. 31, the group met with David Maddox, founder and director of the Nature of Cities, “an international platform to share diverse, transformative ideas about cities as ecosystems of people, nature, and infrastructure.”

This semester's program, The Natural History and Urban Ecology of Manhattan, is directed by Pat Reynolds, the Stone Professor of Natural History.

The morning consisted of a presentation, “Transdisciplinary Urbanism: How Do You Take in the Glory of a Dandelion?” and a question and answer session. Echoing the themes from artist Charles Burchfield’s work, Maddox discussed a wide range of issues pertaining to nature in urban environments, including how greenspace is valued, issues of access to nature and social justice, and post-Sandy urban resilience.

new york city program

Live, work and learn in one of the world's premier cities of commerce and culture. Hamilton in New York City combines an internship with academic experience and is unique in its attempt to encompass a wide range of perspectives on globalization. 

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“I thought the ways that he connected landscape architecture and urban ecology were really interesting” said program participant Nick Pace ’19. “Those were two passions of mine before I started at Hamilton, so it’s been exciting to see how they connect.”

Later, the class continued its cultural program with a visit to the Tenement Museum, a conserved building that serves as a venue for exploring immigrant experiences in late 1800s. The 15 students split up and embarked on two separate tours. The first group explored the journey of immigrants during the American Great Depression. The second group followed the life of the Moores, a family of Irish immigrants, in part, by exploring an apartment in the East Village that once belonged to the family.

 “I saw a lot of elements of my own family’s immigration story when listening to the numerous obstacles these families had to overcome in order to establish themselves in the U.S.,” Maria Saenz ’19 said.

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