Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors

Urban Nature: ‘The Intricate Ecology … of Vacant Lots’

Vacant city lots are often dismissed as derelict urban eyesores, but now some environmentalists are viewing these empty spaces as ecological opportunities. Unoccupied parcels of land can provide habitat for plants, animals and insects in urban environments.

On this week’s installment of the WTTW online series “Urban Nature,” host Marcus Krahnforst treks through several vacant lots on Chicago’s South Side to find—amidst the discarded tires and construction debris—birds, bees, butterflies and some very valuable plants.

WTTW’s online series “Urban Nature” explores the wild side of cities. Watch more episodes.

Related stories:

Urban Nature: ‘A Coyote Comeback’

May 22: Coyotes have made a remarkable comeback in Chicago. What are the secrets to their survival in a dense metropolis? Marcus Krahnforst hunts for clues with noted biologist Stan Gehrt in this “Urban Nature” episode.

Urban Nature: ‘Can Cities Save the Monarch?’

May 15: The monarch butterfly’s remarkable migration is in peril. Its habitat has been decimated by rapid urbanization and changing agricultural practices. Could cities come to the rescue?

Urban Nature: ‘The Great Squirrel Mystery’

May 8: Why do some squirrels live in more affluent neighborhoods, while others dwell in more disadvantaged ones? WTTW's online series “Urban Nature” has the story.